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Public green space not luxury towers: protect Shafston House


Thankfully after sustained pressure from Jonathan Sri, myself and some amazing local residents, the State Referral and Assessment Agency (who assesses proposed developments against the state development laws including heritage) has told the Shafston House developers they need to make a lot of changes. They've said the developers need to:

  • Reconsider the location, scale, bulk, form and architectural detailing of the proposed 15-storey tower next to the heritage house
  • Provide a visual impact assessment demonstrating how the 15-storey tower will not become the dominant structure on this state heritage place (this seems somewhat impossible!?)
  • Provide a replanting strategy and detail how the location of the replanted Hill’s Weeping Fig tree will be incorporated into the development. The Hill’s Weeping Fig tree must be proposed in proximity to its existing location to re-establish the setting and relationship to the Orderlies Building
  • They’ve also knocked back many of the “future uses” the developers tried to get preliminary approval for

While it's sadly still technically possible for the developers to come back with another bad proposal, this is a very good sign. 

We don’t know what the developers will come back with next so it’s critical that we keep up the pressure on both the Planning Minister and the Heritage Minister to protect Shafston House and reject ANY unsustainable, luxury development on this site.

Heritage Minister - Megan Scanlon
Phone: (07) 3719 7140
Email: [email protected]

Deputy Premier/Planning Minister: Steven Miles
Phone: (07) 3719 7100
Email: [email protected]


Property developers are proposing a 15+ storey luxury apartment tower just a few metres away from the historic Shafston House.

Not only will this undermine the heritage value of this historic site and cause excessive overshadowing on neighbouring buildings, these luxury apartments will exacerbate the housing affordability crisis through further gentrification.

The 2,500 square metres of green space – of “communal lawn” – on this site will also remain closed off to the public. This riverfront historic green space should be open to the public so it can be enjoyed by all.

Built in 1851, Shaftons House is the third oldest house in Brisbane. The entire site is on the heritage register as a State Heritage Place.

There is no compelling reason why it is necessary, or in the public’s interest, to destroy a State Heritage Place for a luxury apartment block.

How can we fight back?

The LNP-dominated council's City Plan treats this as a Code Assessable development, denying locals legal pathways to challenge this project through the planning system.

However, as this is a heritage site it will also have to go through an approvals process with the Queensland Government as well. So we’ve been urging the Minister for Heritage, Megan Scanlon, to use her powers to protect this rare riverfront heritage property. 

To fight this unsustainable private development and ensure this piece of our collective history is used for the community’s benefit, our community needs to mobilise and ramp up the pressure on all levels of government. Cr Jonathan Sri and I are committed to fighting this, but we can’t win this alone.

Click here to join the Save Shafston House Facebook group and join the campaign to protect this rare riverfront heritage site.