Council to look at options to buy historical Birkdale property

Redland City Council’s investment arm Redlands Investment Corporation will look at options for buying a Birkdale property in an attempt to protect the site’s historical significance.

Redland City Councillor Mark Edwards brought an urgent motion to today’s Council meeting asking for the Redlands Investment Corporation (RiC) to investigate buying the land at 302 Old Cleveland Rd, (commonly known as Willards Farm “The Pines”).

“This site is rich with history, in particular the site’s homestead, dairy and huts, and the community has voiced concern that an existing development application over the site could result in this history being lost,” Cr Edwards said.

“Today’s motion asks the Redlands Investment Corporation to look at options for buying the site and developing it in a way that protects these buildings.”

Cr Edwards added that the motion did not provide approval to buy the site, but rather for options to be explored and brought back to Council.

“All we are doing is exploring options for acquiring the site; these options will then be included in a report back to Council for a final decision,” he said.

“It will obviously depend on several factors including whether the current owner is prepared to sell it and if so at what price?”

Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop who has been an advocate for retaining the historic site said the motion provided an opportunity for the site’s history to remain part of the city.

“This homestead has been part of the Birkdale community since the 19th century so there is significant heritage contained within the site’s homestead, dairy and huts,” he said.

“There is a current Development Application over the site and Council has limited powers to retain the dwellings under that application.

“Today’s decision opens the door for the wholly Council owned Redlands Investment Corporation to investigate options and report back to council about how the site could be best managed so this history is kept alive.”