Doing property development with a character house that is pre-1946

Character buildings and property development

‘Character’ and ‘Heritage’ are keywords that should prompt further attention when reviewing the overlays in the interactive mapping property report. Generally, a character or heritage overlay will restrict the demolition or alteration of the existing building or structure on the site. The building may need to be fully retained as part of a new development.

Depending on the location or size of the character building, it may completely stop a development from proceeding. For example, in the older suburbs of Brisbane, a character house that cannot be moved or demolished may be sitting on two allotments thereby restricting the redevelopment of the largely vacant allotment.

In Brisbane, there are four different overlays that could mean there is a ‘character’ house on it:

Pre-1911 OverlayThe subject site could have Buildings and structures (not limited to houses) built pre-1912 may not be able to be demolished or significantly altered.
Traditional Building Character OverlayThe subject site could have Buildings and structures (not limited to houses) built pre-1947 may not be able to be demolished or significantly altered.
Commercial Character Building OverlayThe subject site could have Buildings and structures (not limited to houses) built pre-1947 may not be able to be demolished or significantly altered.
Heritage (Local) OverlayThe subject site does have buildings, structures, landscaping, vegetation that have cultural or material significance to a local region. The age of the structures are not necessarily important.
Heritage (State) OverlayThe subject site does have buildings, structures, landscaping, vegetation that have cultural or material significance to Queensland. The age of the structures are not necessarily important.

The ‘Dwelling house character’ overlay is not a character overlay and does not mean the house could be protected.

So how do we determine this?

Using the interactive mapping, after searching the property that you’re researching, review the ‘overlay’ section in the left-hand column for any of the above-listed overlays.

Here is an example below.

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Normally, if a property is affected by a heritage overlay, it may be worth ‘moving on’ or discussing further with a private town planning consultant. If a property is affected by the ‘Pre-1911’, ‘Commercial Character’ or ‘Traditional Building Character’ overlays, the impact they have on the site will depend on the age of the buildings.

To determine their significance, there are various free online tools you can use to determine the age of a building/structure.

Within the ‘Map Contents’ section of the interactive mapping, you will find aerial imagery from 1946 and from 2017 that will allow you to compare the roofline and position to (hopefully) conclude if the building is built before or after 1946.

Another tool that can be useful is Q-Imagery. You can use this to review the available imagery and determine the age of a structure by again comparing the roofline and position of structures.

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There is sooooo much more to learn about this topic and we highly recommend that you complete our Site Finding Course: https://learn.urpec.com.au/courses/site-finding-course-brisbane/

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