What is a character house and why are they protected?

In previous town planning tips, we've alluded to character housing being a possible key issue to consider when looking to put a property under contract in Brisbane, but what is a character house and why are they protected?

What is a character house?

In Brisbane City Council, generally, a character house (or building) can be considered any structure that was constructed pre-1947 and is in a Traditional Building Character, or Pre-1911 building overlay. You can easily identify whether or not a house was built pre-1947 by reviewing the aerial imagery on the Council website here: http://cityplan2014maps.brisbane.qld.gov.au/CityPlan/. Using the BCC mapping, you can flick between the 2017 aerial imagery and the 1946 aerial imagery in the right-hand column and see if the same house is still on the site. That being said, there are some complexities due to houses either being moved onto new properties (ie. pre-1947 buildings moved onto lots after the imagery was taken) or if the house was built later in 1946 as the imagery was taken in May. Our advise is, if you inspect a property and there is seemingly old house (doesn't necessarily need to look like a traditional 'Queenslander'), give one of our town planners a call asap: 07 3317 0042 or send an email to contact@stpmail.com.au with the address.

Why are they protected?

Brisbane City Council did a large council wide survey between November 2018-January 2019 which received feedback from over 100,000 residents. There was an overwhelming response from the community that protection of our Queenslanders and other traditional designs was a high priority which led Council to create the "Brisbane's Future Blueprint". This document then allowed for a higher level of protection from a strategic policy point of view which gives all older houses in Brisbane potential protection.

You can also learn more by downloading the BCC's guide on "Traditional Housing: Alterations and Extensions" here: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020-02/20200203-traditional-housing-design-guide.pdf

If you have any further questions, please visit our website to get in touch: https://www.steffantp.com.au/