Highgate Hill homes spared

Stop work order issued for Highgate Hill homes

The Queensland Government has issued a stop work order on three residential buildings at Highgate Hill, Brisbane.

Minister for Planning and Member for South Brisbane, Jackie Trad said the Brisbane City Council didn’t identify the properties at Jones and Colton Street for demolition protection in their new City Plan which was adopted by Council on 30 June 2014.

“The Brisbane City Council failed to protect these heritage buildings from demolition,” Ms Trad said.

“I understand that the Local Councillor raised this matter with Brisbane City Council late last year.

“It took Council more than two months to act on these warnings – and only after the demolition permits were approved.

“In contrast, we approved council’s request to change City Plan to try to protect these houses in two days.

“Planning issues like protecting Brisbane’s local character housing is the sole responsibility of Brisbane City Council and they do this through their city plan.

“These houses were almost demolished-because Brisbane City Council failed to recognise them as being built prior to 1911 when they introduced these protections in 2014. If Brisbane City Council had done their research, then these houses would be fully protected today,” Ms Trad said.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Dr Steven Miles issued the order in response to serious concerns from residents about the demolition of the properties.

Under section 154 of the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 the Minister responsible can make an order to stop work that may destroy or reduce the cultural heritage significance of a place.

“I have issued a stop work order to allow for a heritage assessment of three properties at Highgate Hill,” Dr Miles said.

“As the Minister for Heritage, it is my role to ensure important heritage places are protected. In this case, it is my opinion the properties should be assessed before demolition begins.

“The properties have never been considered by the Queensland Heritage Council, which is the state’s independent advisor on heritage matters.

“Therefore, I have asked the Queensland Heritage Council to consider a register application for the properties at their meeting on 6 May 2016.

“It is important we make every effort to conserve Queensland’s heritage, and it is now up the Queensland Heritage Council to make an independent decision.

“We cannot have loopholes in local government planning laws allowing Queensland properties of potential heritage value to be demolished without proper consideration.

“I trust the Queensland Heritage Council to make the right decision for Queenslanders.”

The Highgate Hill homes were not included on the Brisbane City Council heritage register.