Steffan Harries

What is a Character House and why are they protected?

In our previous articles, we have mentioned the significance of character housing as an important consideration when entering into a property contract in Brisbane. But what exactly defines a character house and why are they safeguarded?

What is a character house?

Character houses, within the Brisbane City Council region, encompass structures built before 1947 that fall under the Traditional Building Character or Pre-1911 building overlay. To determine if a house meets this criterion, you can examine the aerial imagery on the Brisbane City Council website, specifically the Brisbane City Council | City Plan 2014, which allows you to compare the 2017 and 1946 aerial imagery to verify if the same house stands on the site.

However, there are certain complexities to consider. For instance, some houses may have been relocated to new properties after the imagery was captured, or they might have been constructed in 1946, shortly after the imagery was taken in May.

That being said, there are some complexities due to houses either being moved onto new properties (ie. pre-1947 buildings moved onto lots after the imagery was taken) or if the house was built later in 1946 as the imagery was taken in May.

Why are character houses protected?

The protection of character houses stems from a comprehensive survey conducted by the Brisbane City Council between November 2018 and January 2019, which gathered feedback from over 100,000 residents. The community response overwhelmingly emphasized the importance of preserving Queenslanders and other traditional designs. Consequently, the Council formulated “Brisbane’s Future Blueprint” as a strategic policy measure to provide a higher level of protection for older houses throughout Brisbane.

You can also learn more about character housing on our website here:

What if I don’t know if it’s a character house?

If you come across a property with what appears to be an old house, even if it doesn’t necessarily resemble a traditional ‘Queenslander,’ please don’t hesitate to get in touch for further clarification.

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