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Protect Customs House Precinct - petition

 Customs House
One of our Building members wants to make everybody aware of the below.  They seek support for their opposition to the proposed development at 443 Queen Street, Brisbane.
Please support their petiton to designate the project as an Impact Assessable development with the involvement of the wider community by lodging submissions against the development proposal. 


Fact Sheet - Protect Customs House Precinct

One of Brisbane’s most historic precincts

Customs House, one of Brisbane's heritage icons, is located on the river in the CBD. It is the most important building in an historic precinct representing a remnant of Brisbane's historic relationship with the river and Queen Street. It was completed and opened in 1889, when Queensland was still a British colony.

Other places that contribute to the streetscape on the western side of Queen Street include the former ‘Queensland Country Life’ now Aurora building facade at 420–426 Queen Street and the Petrie Bight Retaining Wall a 150 metre, 19th century, parapeted stone retaining wall at 443-501 Queen Street. It was built in 1881, and is important in illustrating its type. It has aesthetic significance in the contribution of its scale and texture to the Brisbane riverscape.

A Heritage Listed Precinct

Customs house was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 2005. The Petrie Bight Retaining Wall and the Queensland Country Life building façade were added to the Heritage Register in 1992.

A Tower in the Centre of the Precinct

A development application for the building next to Customs House at 443 Queen Street has been lodged with Brisbane City Council by Cbus Property. The proposed 47 storey tower, planned for the Queen Street riverfront will contain 264 apartments. The development is currently submitted as Code Assessable. This means the developers do not need to consult or notify the community of the proposed development and there are only limited ways to appeal any council decision made.

A Call for Transparency and Open Disclosure

There is an urgent need for the development to be considered Impact Assessable based on a number of Planning and Heritage concerns.

  • This very tall building is not appropriate to the precinct. It will have a negative impact on some of the most powerful symbols of the city – Brisbane River, the Story Bridge, Customs House and its fig tree and Queen Street.
  • Previous City Centre neighbourhood plans require that Views of Customs House are preserved and reinstated from both the river and from Queen Street. Redevelopment adjacent to Customs House must not prejudice the picturesque quality of this setting. Any further development of Customs House or sites adjoining or in close proximity must improve views associated with Customs House and views between Queen Street, the river and the Story Bridge.
  • Brisbane City Council Heritage Citation defines the Customs House Heritage Precinct as a remaining low-scale precinct that was once the focal point of the Port of Brisbane. It requires careful design of buildings and their surrounds to ensure new buildings are appropriate to their context, fit responsively into the streetscape and river scape. This particularly applies to very tall buildings, those next to heritage places, and those near the river.
  • New buildings on the site of 443 Queen St must maintain a setback of 25m to the boundary shared with Customs House.  The current development application falls well short of this with in places being as low as 3.5 meters.
  • The Fig Tree is protected through the Customs House heritage Listing.  As part of the redevelopment the tree would be heavily pruned.  Coupled with 6 levels of car park right beside it flooding it with exhaust fumes and significantly changing the tree’s environment from a sun perspective the development is likely to be detrimental to the tree.
  • There is a proposed 277 car parks for the development.  The Submissions traffic impact assessment report acknowledges congestion along Queen St and then goes on to state the additional traffic from the building will have minimal impact.  The traffic generation report used by the developer is flawed and needs to be reviewed in light of accurate data.
  • A weather corridor has already been observed in the Brisbane CBD due to the number of high rise buildings. This issue requires analysis.

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