19 Feb 2021

Property developer buys heritage-listed Shafston House but plans for site are unclear

The heritage-listed 1851 riverfront property Shafston House has been sold to a property developer.

According to the Queensland Heritage Register, the gothic-style house at Kangaroo Point is one of the oldest surviving properties in the city.

Brisbane real estate agent Andrew Gard from Cushman & Wakefield confirmed it was sold to Kevin Pan from Burgundy Group Property Development.

He said the sale settled on Monday.

When asked how much it sold for, Mr Gard said he could not comment on the price.

The land valuation for the 9,958-square-metre property is $17.5 million.

Property records show the founder of Shafston International College, Keith Lloyd, bought the site from the Commonwealth in 1993 for $1.8 million.

Last November, he held an auction through Lloyds Auctions to sell the contents of Shafston House Estate, including furniture and antiquities.

The ABC is trying to contact Mr Pan for comment.

'Strong presence on the river'

Architectural historian Marianne Taylor described Shafston House as an "incredible property".

"It's one of the oldest surviving houses in Brisbane and it has always had a really strong presence on the river," she said.

Ms Taylor, a former president of the Brisbane branch of the National Trust of Queensland, described Shafston House as "one of the most important homes in Brisbane".

"It's probably one of only two houses that date from the pre-1859 era, when we became the colony of Queensland, that still retains its connection with the river, and it's only one of three houses that survives from that era in Brisbane.

"So it's very special and it's a completely unique style as well," she said.

Ms Taylor said Shafston House had a rich history as a private home.

"One of its other major uses from about 1919 to 1969 was as a repatriation hospital for soldiers who were injured in, to start with the first world war, but then other battles as well," she said.

Site's future unclear

Shafston House was entered into the Queensland Heritage Register in 2005.

Under the Brisbane City Council's City Plan, the site at Castlebar Street in Kangaroo Point is zoned "high-density residential" for developments of up to 15 storeys.

Ms Taylor said she would like to see Shafston House maintained and preserved.

"It's an interesting situation because … it was marketed as a development property, however, the entire site is covered by the Queensland Heritage Register boundary, which in theory means that it would be very hard to actually build anything in the grounds of that place.

"The grounds and its connection with the river and the views to and from the house form a massive part of what's significant about the building as well in the register citation, so when that's specifically mentioned in the criteria in theory any development should not be able to impact on that.

"I would hope, if the system works properly, that even though it has that high-density zoning … it should overrule that and should in theory not allow any development on the site, particularly not high rises that block the view of the house," Ms Taylor said.

In a statement, a Brisbane City Council spokesperson said State Government protections are in place for Shafston House.

"Any application lodged will be referred to the State Government Heritage Unit for assessment to ensure its heritage significance is retained," the spokesperson said.

"Council is not aware of and has not received any applications relating to Shafston House, but if received will undergo the usual rigorous assessment process before any decision can be made."

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-03/shafston-house-brisbane-riverfront-heritage-sold-to-developer/13115454

Share Socially