Council to breathe new life into historic farm


A piece of Redlands history will be rejuvenated after Redland City Council today adopted a plan to breathe new life into the historic 19th century Willard’s farm.

Redland City CEO Bill Lyon said the Willard’s Farm Conservation Management Plan included immediate work to be undertaken at the property, as well as a strategy for long-term upgrades and ongoing maintenance.

The Willard farm house at Birkdale

“This property is included on Council’s heritage register and holds historical significance for the community and today’s decision will help to keep that history alive,” Mr Lyon said.

“Originally built in 1863, the property has fallen into disrepair, and today’s decision gives approval for a series of immediate works to be completed to make the property safe and prevent any further damage.

“This includes clearing vegetation and debris, minor repairs to structures, diverting water away from buildings and carrying out a pest inspection.”

Mr Lyon said a heritage architect would also be engaged to ensure any historical artefacts on the site were protected.

“The property history suggests there may be some significant artefacts on the site including old dump sites, a child’s grave and garden bed.  This work will identify and preserve these artefacts to ensure the property history is maintained,” he said.

“Existing landscaping will be reinstated and the site tidied up so it is safe and reflects its historical significance.”

Mr Lyon said today’s decision also included formation of a stakeholder working group to advise on the long-term management and use of the site.

“Given the community value in this property this group will be critical in ensuring the community can appreciate the property in a way that celebrates it while at the same time maintaining its historical significance,” he said.

“We will also undertake community consultation and work with community groups to determine the long-term use of the site.”

Council voted in February to buy the property in recognition of its historical significance.

Willards farm was established in 1863. The site contains a house, dairy and slab huts. It has also been known as ‘The Pines’ and the Cottons Farm. The Heritage Council refused an application to historically list the property in September last year.