Willards farm to remain

The history of the Birkdale property known as Willards farm on Old Cleveland Road East has been preserved for future Redlanders after Redland City Council purchased the property.

Council Chief Executive Officer Bill Lyon said the outcome has ensured the farm’s 153-year-old homestead will be kept.

“At the Council meeting held on 21 October 2015, Council resolved to investigate options to develop the property and keep the existing farm house which has historical value to the local community, ” Mr Lyon said.

“As a result of this work, Council voted at its Special Meeting on the 16 and 21 of December 2015 to purchase the entire 8,164 square metre property.

“Negotiations to purchase the property have been successful and the contract went unconditional at close of business on Friday.

“This speedy outcome was achieved with the assistance of Council’s subsidiary company Redland Investment Corporation, delivering a great outcome for the community.”

Mr Lyon said the next step for Council was to fence the old homestead and ensure the structure poses no risks to the safety of the community.

“In the coming weeks, residents can expect to see Council officers at the site putting up temporary fencing and performing other safety procedures,” he said.

“Council staff will also undertake an assessment to determine what would be required to restore the homestead and its associated structures.

“With a new Council coming on board in just over a month, it will be a decision for them as to what will ultimately be done with the house and land.

“The land is strategically placed next to surplus land owned by the Australian Government, so it could potentially provide exciting new opportunities for the City in the future.”

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.