Development and heritage in letters to the editor

Residents this week question a proposed development in Thornlands and ask if the new collaboration between UDIA and Council will really result in better design and development outcomes in the Redlands.

A descendent of James Willard seeks more information about historic Willard’s Farm, and a local wonders if Redland Bay State School is poised to remove some large mango trees as well as some historical archives.

If you have something to say to others in the Redlands send an email to

Willards farm

A descendant of pioneer James Willard is seeking information about Willards farm in Birkdale.

Willard’s Farm is part of the Redlands heritage. My great, great grandfather James Willard, lived, owned and worked this land for some 75 years.

I do not have the history behind how it changed hands and why it was bought by the Americans in the war, but I would like the opportunity to understand my heritage and early family settlers of Australia.

I have only recently discovered the property and a painting done in the 1980’s by an artist friend as well as portraits of James and Margaret Willard’s daughter, Essy, who is my great grandmother.

I would appreciate very much any information on this property, its change of hands from the Willard family, to ending up being owned by America and now the local Council and how we can save this for future generations.

Muriel Skillen

Redland Bay State School

Local resident says large mango trees at Redland Bay State School may be about to get the chop.

Rumour has it that the Redland Bay State school is planning to chop down some very large, mango trees within the school grounds.

Along with this, they want to get rid of a rich, historical archival collection of photos and anecdotes collected over the last 30 years.

This is a matter of great concern and typical of the current ‘out with the old and in with the new’ mindset so prevalent in today’s Redlands.

Let’s hope the trees are preserved and the keepsakes and photos find safe haven.

Is it possible Redlands2030 or its readers can confirm or dispel these rumours?

Redland Bay

Better standard of building in Redlands

Wall to wall in Redland City

In announcing collaboration with urban development group UDIA,  Redland City Council hopes for a better standard of building in Redlands.

Certainly, this is long overdue as we see some ugly unit developments built smack up to roadsides with no pollution barriers to protect lungs from car exhausts – aware that diesel fumes are carcinogenic.

Morning rush hour traffic is increasing with growing numbers of motorists leaving each morning for work outside Redlands. For example, we see traffic backed up from 4-way intersection on Finucane/Old Cleveland/Moreton Bay Rds, Capalaba, through to Windemere Rd, Alexandra Hills and Ormiston with motorists using Old Cleveland Rd East to avoid the Finucane Rd morning traffic nightmare.

Mayor Karen Williams speaks of creating new communities. Will planning be any different to existing ones?

Would there be change in estate planning leaving green space and respecting the right of wildlife, particularly koalas, to exist?

Or would any new community be planned as at present… allowing developers to build as they like, with wall to wall dwellings, smack up to roadsides, no need to leave pollution barriers, no need to leave open space or parkland?

Can the community at large hope that with guidance from urban development group, there will be changes in planning schemes that consider wellbeing of its people, and its wild places too?

It seems the new Draft City Plan for Redlands has no provision for retention of koala habitat trees, and since 80% of our much loved marsupials have already vanished, are we to lose the few mainland koalas in Redlands as well?


Thornlands development

Area of Ausbuild residential development at 399-413 Boundary Road in Thornlands

Area of Ausbuild residential development at 399-413 Boundary Road in Thornlands

Redlands has to get stronger and stop taking spoons to a knife party.  The Thornlands residential development at 399-413 Boundary Road Thornlands is a cruel stroke of the Council razor gang.

This one has me shaking me in my boots because two months ago we nearly bought a beautiful property on 1.5 acres in Luke St which completely focused on a large dam full of wildlife. The master bedroom, pool, lounge, kitchen and outdoor entertaining had a co-existence with the birdlife.  Our Council who we put in to protect our lifestyle and environment has since voted to allow it to be  filled for units.

 I went to Council through the due diligence process and never saw that coming. We reluctantly walked away because I couldn’t put up with the construction noise for three years. The development was across the hill and they had scraped the trees away which we could see through the remaining trees, which will all now be removed.  The thought that the development would go to the fence line would be insane. Council told me the dam was recommended environmental preservation area.

There were large mounds of dirt piled near  the duck pond and we assumed for tree planting, protecting the bird life from the development. Now it looks like it was dumped because Ausbuild knew they were going to be allowed to fill the large dam. How stupid of us to think they cared. They will never stop.

Name withheld.

Redlands2030 – 13 March 2017

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5 thoughts on “Development and heritage in letters to the editor

  1. Ausbuild. In 1983, on purchasing this house, Ron Loney, head of this building industry, was a Ray White real estate agent in Capalaba, lived on this street, & as my house was rented for 3 years, received letter to advise an eye would be kept on my home, but when taking up residence in mid-1986, Mr Loney had moved on to greener pastures. A short time later I was approached in aisle of Coles supermarket in Capalaba by a total stranger, asking I look at Mr Loney’s newly built development next to Whepstead Manor, Wello Pt. considered inappropriate being next to a historical building. My concern, and said so, was preserving the giant tree where roots extended onto the land. Today Mr Loney, high profile local developer with deep pockets, has the pleasure of building monstrous housing estates with skimpy back & front yards, with little or no land for parkland or open space as it seems RCC’s planning policies appear to be non-existent since complaints all over Redlands is mounting on the shocking loss of valuable wetlands and wildlife places all local developers and council heavyweights are blind to in their haste and greed to blindly develop as much land as possible leaving no pollution barriers or mature trees that would create an attractive, cool liveable environment for we, the people of Redland City. Planning policies need to change ASAP.

  2. I am a retired biologist living in Victoria Point with my wife and up until 7-8 years ago koalas were regular visitors on our quarter acre property. We have not seen any in this area for 7 years and I predict, as much as I hate to say it, that Redlands will lose its koalas altogether. What did Mayor Karen Williams have to say when I wrote to her Office. “We are putting money towards a koala clinic for sick koalas.” I think that Mayor Williams and her close associates will be able to look back on their legacy – no koalas and very congested roads. Redland City Council better think about changing its logo from the stylised koala. May I suggest a block of units.

  3. Cant forget Redland Bay School, which is bursting at the seams, the school oval has been built over, the tennis courts removed to build more buildings. The development at Shoreline will have 10,000 people living there and no plans for a Public school so Redland Bay school will probably lose the mango trees and anything else in the way of more buildings. Bad planning at the expense of our future students

  4. Wow somer interesting posts.
    I have to feel nervous about UDIA being a advisor to Redland Council considering all their members have very bad standards in delivering Development in Redlands. The bare earth standard is the usual style. I feel it is like leaving the fox in charge of the hen house. Same ole same ole, and when does the community get to have a say on the standards, will there be local people on the panel. There is a local resident living at Stradbroke who specalises in design but bet he doesnt even get to have an input. I reckon there are a number of architects in Redlands who would have a better idea than UDIA. Driving through Hamilton, Fortitude Valley, City, Tenneriffe, City, Milton dont see too many outstanding buildings, so question why UDIA is Council advisors. where are their runs on the board
    Thornlands is a great example of poor outcomes. The land to the east was a lovely block, had trees and a nice dam, now the top has been bulldozed, the trees removed and the dam filled. The lot next door had lovely trees ideal as a corridor for wildlife and a dam full of wildlife, there should not be any homes backing onto the large lots under 4000sqm. I guess we will be stuck with another lot of ugly buildings, all joined together like ticky tacky

    • About 10 years ago a small group of parents (3) challenged the Redland Bay School and the Department of Education about removal of the old mango trees at the front of the school. They were ready to knock some of the mango trees down to extend the preschool as there was no alternative. It was only through diligent research of the Department’s own building standards that we found an alternative location over a slope which adjoined the existing preschool. Armed with an alternative site which made more sense and some pressure at the P&C meeting, we saved the trees.
      The front precinct of the school with its large trees and some original buildings add cooling shade, an inviting entrance, scenic and recreational amenity and a sense of place to an otherwise all too common hotchpotch of corridors and pathways. This 100+ year old precinct should be protected. Very sorry to hear the mango trees are again under threat by a lack of appreciation of their distinctive value and want of alternative thinking. This is a place of education, right? What are we teaching here?


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