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Example Submission on Shafston House Partial Demolition

If you want to have your say on the proposed partial demolition on Shafston House, you should write a submission on the development application! Any submissions from now until 8 June must be considered by Council. Even though Shafston House is a Queensland Heritage Place, the Council will be deciding whether to approve or reject the application, with the State giving advice and approval conditions (if it is approved). 

I have written up a draft submission below referring to relevant heritage legislation. You can copy and paste this text and send it as an email, but if you have time, add in what Shafston House or this development would mean to you! That will help your letter have more impact.

Make sure to include your full name, email address and postal address in your submission to the Council - or it won't be considered by them. If you are concerned about privacy issues, just include in your email that you want your details to be redacted before it is posted online.

Letter to the Minister for Environment

Via email: [email protected]

Dear Minister Scanlon,

It was great to see that you announced a new advisory panel on how to improve the Queensland Heritage Register on the 18th of April. I think that a great first step in improving protections for heritage places is to share your opposition to development application A005653605 for partial demolition of Shafston House.

The developers have written this application through the lens of “reinstating the original form” of the house, but I am wary of what they are planning to do next. I would hate to see this heritage building crowded by more towers and a valuable riverside landmark losing its amenity. Unfortunately, we have seen this situation with the Broadway Hotel, where developers proposed three residential towers behind the building. When the application was refused, the Broadway fell further into disrepair.

Shafston House is considered to be the third oldest house in Brisbane, and is an important building in my community. Unlike other Queensland Heritage Places in this area, Shafston House has been maintained. It would be a great loss for the community if this building were to be altered.

Submission to the Council

Via email: [email protected] 

Subject line: Submission on A005653605

To the Assessment Manager,

I am writing to you about the development application A005653605 lodged over 23 Castlebar Street, Kangaroo Point (Shafston House). I do not support any demolition of Shafston House. I am asking that you refuse this proposal. The developer is angling this proposal as “removing modern additions to restore Shafston House to its original form”, but the intent is clearly to remove as much of the House as possible to make space for future development. Any demolition to Shafston House will impact the value of the house. 

Queensland Heritage State Code

The proposed partial demolition does not comply with the Queensland Heritage State Code, which requires that any development of a Queensland Heritage Place will:

“conserve cultural heritage significance for the benefit of the community and future generations, minimise or mitigate unavoidable impacts on cultural heritage significance, 

maintain or enhance the setting and streetscape adjoining the state heritage place, and views to and from the state heritage place,

where these aspects form part of its cultural heritage significance.

The developer is proposing to remove parts of Shafston House by arguing that they will only remove modern additions, but some of these parts of the house were built 70 years ago. 

Brisbane City Council’s Heritage overlay code

The proposed partial demolition does not comply with BCC’s Heritage overlay code, which states that:

“Development on or adjoining a heritage place does not detract from the cultural heritage significance of that heritage place.”

Removing aspects of Shafston House will detract from the cultural significance of the building. 

Queensland Heritage Register criteria

Shafston House is very significant under several of the Queensland Heritage Register criteria:

b) The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

Shafston House is considered to be the third oldest house standing in Brisbane. Any remaining buildings from the 1800s should be retained to benefit the surrounding community and the whole of Queensland. Shafston House is one of the few heritage properties that has been kept on its large riverfront lot.

c) The place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Queensland’s history.

The House can provide further information on way of life in the 1800s

d) The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

Shafston House demonstrates the type of large lot, riverside houses that were prevalent in Brisbane in the 1800s.

e) The place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Shafston House is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, and is a landmark along the Brisbane River and in views from New Farm across the river. Shafston House has a great aesthetic contribution to the Brisbane riverscape.

The Brisbane City Council is encouraging higher density housing in Kangaroo Point without investing in infrastructure to support all these new residents. Instead of approving demolitions to important heritage assets, I would rather have more community spaces and better public transport.