SIMON SAYS: How can this 36m long build be legal?

Neighbours and passers by this renovation in Auchenflower have been watching as the slab has been laid. Is this units or just one house and how did the Brisbane City Council approve it?

It pretty much covers the entire 549sqm  block.


Currently under the small lot code you can only build a house 25m long.

But this is 36m long!!!

While unusual, unorthodox and certainly eye-brow raising it has been approved by Brisbane City Council and is completely legal under the Development Control Plan.

And it’s all due to the special considerations given to those homes affected by the devastating 2011 floods.

It’s more widely known approval has been given to homes to go up, from 8.5m to 9.5m to allow for two levels plus the car space underneath.

But in this special case it shows some rebuilds can also go out.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.22.37 am

(Above is artist’s impression of completion)

And here’s why.

Back in 2011 the water levels rose so high it came in through the windows of the original Queenslander.  It was swamped with water.

To rebuild even to 9.5m above natural ground level to take them out of harms way in the event of such a natural disaster occurring again would only give the owners one level to live in, instead of the two everyone else was able to capitalise on.

So Council has given approval for the owners to rebuild their home and their lives over the whole block instead of going up even higher.

Not only that, neighbours on both sides of the property were consulted and gave their approval as well.

There are certain considerations the owners have to meet under the approval and one is to ensure their neighbours have sufficient privacy.

Governments, local and state, have taken steps in recognition of the challenges homes in flood prone areas face, introducing new and improved flood mitigation measures.

It’s a reason why median sale figures of homes in some of Brisbane’s worst flood inundated areas including Auchenflower, Rosalie and Toowong in the west, have resurfaced positively attracting strong and positive prices according to recent property statistics.

Whether you like it or not aesthetically, avoiding any potential future flooding in our homes and protecting the investment people have made in theirs is a good outcome.

Good luck to the owners of this build and their neighbours, we look forward to seeing the end result.


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