Proposed change of use of Seaview Hotel site and consequences of uncontrolled growth of St. Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe.

Principal Petitioner Mike Chamberlain, Shorncliffe
Date Closed Mon, 04 Jan 2016 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 84 signatures

(View signatures)

Residents draw to the attention of Brisbane City Council, concerns regarding the application by St Patrick's College, Shorncliffe, for change of use of the Seaview Hotel at 57-69 Pier Avenue, Shorncliffe (application reference A004155926). Shorncliffe is an historic residential seaside suburb valued not only by residents but also by visitors from greater Brisbane and beyond for its bayside atmosphere, its colonial architecture, its pier, waterside parks and particularly for its unique character.

That character is being lost through recent inappropriate and insensitive development close to these iconic historic sites. St Patrick’s College once served the community nestled unobtrusively in a street of historic shops, surrounded by colonial houses in the heart of Shorncliffe; a welcome asset, appropriate in its scale and impact. In recent years the school has not only purchased and demolished these shops despite community and Council objection, it has replaced them with buildings which are massively out of scale and certainly out of character. This development appears to serve an increased enrolment of students from outside the area. Such unchecked growth in our neighbourhood undermines the very qualities that created Shorncliffe’s unique character, and local residents feel the reason they live here is disappearing before their eyes. St Pat's intent to continue their insensitive expansion is reflected in a current application to Brisbane City Council to change the use of the Seaview Hotel to Educational Establishment. The school considers the change of use to be allowed under the Commercial character building (activities) overlay code, which applies to the hotel, without public notification or right of appeal. In fact, the proposed change of use is totally at odds with the stated purpose of this code; that is, to provide small-scale neighbourhood convenience services which contribute to the local character and lifestyle of the area and complement other non-residential uses. In particular, the purpose of the code should be achieved through following outcomes:

• The use serves the needs of the local community:

Shorncliffe does not need a school of this scale to serve the educational needs of the community. The ongoing expansion, in particular into the Seaview Hotel; does not serve the needs of the local community but those of an increasing number of students who commute from outside the suburb. The inconvenience of having a large school in a residential suburb is already reflected in the volume of traffic on once child-safe streets, a blaring public announcement system, the movement of students to and from the railway station and the public sporting fields at Curlew Park, and the intimidation of local users of that park.

• The design of servicing, access and parking arrangements allows for efficient operation of the use:

The limited parking space gained by the purchase of the hotel has made little difference to the number of staff, students and parents parking on the streets around the school. As so many students commute to the school, traffic during pic-kup and drop-off times can only be increased by further expansion. This not only effects residents but visitors to the pier, beach and children’s playground.

• The use supports the level of amenity, privacy, safety and security reasonably expected by nearby residents:

The proposed change of use would effectively see the school split in two by Pier Avenue, with students and staff having to cross that street, increasing the traffic and parking turmoil that already exists and significantly heightening the risk of injury to pedestrians. The change from Hotel to Educational Establishment represents the loss of yet another amenity to an organisation which has already diminished the amenities, cultural heritage and streetscape of the suburb. Furthermore, there would be little to stop the school from buying up more residential property and eventually applying for road closure, inconveniencing residents and visitors alike. We believe that the majority of residents are becoming concerned about the scale of this establishment and the unwillingness of its representatives to engage with the local community with regard to preserving the character and lifestyle of the area.

Your petitioners therefore request that Council not approve the change of use of the Seaview Hotel to Educational Establishment.

Council response

To petitioner, 

The petition was considered by Council at the meeting of 14 June 2016 and Council can respond to you as follows.

A development application for the partial demolition and reuse of the Seaview Hotel at 57 Pier Avenue, was lodged in June 2015, and was approved by Council on 28 October 2015
(application reference A004155926).

This reuse of the Seaview Hotel was for an educational establishment and caretaker’s accommodation for St Patrick’s College. The application was assessed against the requirements of Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) and in line with the provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

The Seaview Hotel site (described as lots 2, 3, 4 and 5 on RP4520) is covered by the Commercial character overlay under the City Plan. This means that the development application triggered code assessment under the City Plan and therefore did not require formal public notification under the SPA.

The level of assessment of the application under the City Plan did not inhibit the local community from lodging submissions in relation to the application. Council officers assess every development application to ensure a proposed development meets the requirements of the City Plan and take into consideration the concerns of submitters, whether formal or informal. It should be noted that Council received six submissions which were assessed as part of the development application.

As the application complied with the relevant provisions of the City Plan, the application was subsequently approved subject to conditions. The development application for the reuse of the Seaview Hotel did not include any part of the land currently occupied by the existing St Patrick’s College. The proposed educational establishment use (staff media room, book hire, storage and packing areas, uniform and supply shop, office and administration areas including caretaker’s accommodation) is considered to be ancillary to the existing school.

The retention and reuse of the existing commercial character building for an educational establishment is considered to be consistent with the outcomes of the City Plan and in particular, the purpose of the Commercial character building overlay code. The proposal protects and enhances the existing building identified with character significance. It is considered that the proposed extension to the school caters for both the local community and the wider Brisbane community.

As part of the assessment of the application, Council considered the amenity, privacy, safety and security requirements reasonably expected by nearby residents. Council’s engineering officers assessed the traffic requirements and it was determined that the proposed change of use would not detrimentally impact on traffic safety in the area. The development includes the provision of 13 car parking spaces on site, including two spaces for people with disabilities. The proposal does not include the provision of additional parking within the existing St Patrick’s College, as this land was not part of the development application.

The proposal complies with the requirements of the City Plan in relation to car parking, vehicle access and servicing arrangements and is not likely to have any significant impact on the existing traffic and street parking conditions associated with St Patrick’s College. It is noted that there is an existing school zone for traffic adjacent to the proposed development site that restricts speed limits and is administered by the Queensland Police Service. In addition, a condition has been imposed on the development that restricts the hours of operation to between 6am to 8pm.

On 7 August 2015, a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) was placed over the site for the protection of the Seaview Hotel. The TLPI requires applications over the Seaview Hotel site to be assessed against the Heritage overlay code of the City Plan. As a result, the partial demolition work proposed as part of the recent development application was assessed against the Heritage overlay code and was considered to comply with the purpose and relevant acceptable outcomes of the Heritage overlay code. It is noted that, as the TLPI took affect after the application was properly made, the level of assessment remains code assessable.

After the lodgement of this development application, discussions have been held with representatives of the St Patrick’s College about their future development plans for the school. They have been encouraged to develop a master plan for the school and to undertake consultation with the local community about the intent of the master plan. This is an initiative that the school would be responsible for to inform the local community.

Details of the development application can be viewed online by visiting Council’s website at by searching A004155926.