Milton House View Protection Snags Kings Row Approval

The ambitious four-tower Kings Row project proposed for the Milton riverfront has hit a roadblock over protecting sightlines to the heritage-listed Milton House. 

Read: Milton Residents Voice Concerns Over Billionaire Developer’s Ambitious Project

Developer Shayher Alliance seeks to transform the Coronation Drive site into a mixed urban village, but the plan’s scale has drawn scrutiny from state and local entities.

The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) postponed its ruling on the 37-storey towers until April amidst worries of obstructed views of the Milton House from the Brisbane River. 

Milton House (Photo credit: Heritage Branch/Queensland Heritage Register)

Constructed from 1852-1853, Milton House served as the residence of pioneering Brisbane chemist Ambrose Eldridge and his politically active family until 1855. 

The landmark home located at McDougall St, was then sold to pastoralist John Frederick McDougall, who expanded the estate and leased it out to a series of prominent tenants, such as Arthur Manning, the Colonial Under-Secretary, Henry Walsh, MLC and speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and James Crombie.

Milton House, Milton, ca. 1870. Photo credit: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland 

SARA asked Shayher for more time to evaluate compliance with heritage codes safeguarding the colonial homestead’s visibility.

Meanwhile, Brisbane City Council has resumed discussions with Shayher after the company paused the development application process in late December. Over 120 public submissions objected to the proposal’s size, lack of greenspace, traffic impacts and interference with views.

Artist’s impression of heritage view from Coronation Drive (Photo credit: Urbis)

Greens MP Stephen Bates echoed similar community concerns, applauding council officers for highlighting issues like obscured sightlines to Mount Coot-tha. 

Residents also argued that the 30 to 37-storey height violates the City Plan and the Milton Neighbourhood Plan, conflicting with zoning intentions. 

Photo credit: Urbis

Responding to such objections, Urbis, on behalf of the developer, conceded exceeding area building limits but rationalised the towers as suitably bridging Brisbane’s CBD with outer regions amidst the city’s housing shortage.

Photo credit: Urbis

Shayher defended the project in the application as a landmark design suitably transitioning from Brisbane’s CBD whilst providing needed housing.

Read: Historic Homes in Brisbane: Milton House

The $300 million vision would transform 14,780 sqm into a retail plaza surrounded by 30-37 storey towers combining public riverfront access with units, sports facilities and shops. But unlocking Milton’s river edge hinges on satisfying worries about dwarfed heritage vistas. After almost a year in review, the future of the Kings Row project remains clouded by the past.

Published 12-February-2024 

Kings Row Office Precinct Redevelopment Proposed for McDougall Street in Milton

A prominent redevelopment project is on the horizon for the Kings Row office precinct in Milton, with four new buildings planned for 50 McDougall Street in a transformation that is also expected to preserve the historic Milton House.

The mixed-use development is designed by Urbis. The nature of the land uses for these buildings has not been specified in the application (DA A006291436).  However, the proposal suggests that potential uses may encompass commercial office space, community facilities, and residential dwellings, including short-term accommodation and multiple dwellings.

Kings Row McDougall St Milton
Photo Credit: DA 006291436

The project will be divided into two precincts and implemented across two stages of development.

The first stage, the Milton House Precinct, is set to include the preservation of Milton House and the creation of Heritage Square, along with the construction of Building 1 and its associated basement parking. 

The second stage, known as the Village Green Precinct, will feature the development of the Village Green and Buildings 1, 2, and 3. It covers a diverse range of uses across the site, including multiple dwellings, community activities, educational establishments, food and drink outlets, function facilities, healthcare services, indoor sports and recreation, offices, shops, shopping centres, short-term accommodation, veterinary services, retirement facilities, residential care facilities, rooming accommodations, and bars.

Kings Row McDougall St Milton
Photo Credit: DA 006291436

Key features of the proposed development include four towers, varying in height from 30 to 37 storeys, a Village Green spanning 1,500 square metres, a Heritage Square covering 2,000 square metres, and laneways with outdoor dining facilities spanning 1,500 square metres.

The project aligns with the high-density residential and mixed-use zoning of the area and is considered compatible with the neighbourhood’s growth requirements. 

Kings Row McDougall St Milton
Photo Credit: DA 006291436

“The proposed variation request aims to secure the key development parameters, including building height, site cover, and boundary setbacks, to enable the delivery of four towers within a public plaza setting,” Urbis cited. “The towers are intended to accommodate a range of uses, including multiple dwellings, serviced apartments, short-term accommodation, vertical retirement living, and office tenancies.”

The DA is currently under public notification from 12 Sept to 26 Oct 2023. As of press time, only one submission has been lodged, opposing the project because the proposed green space is in a major traffic area. 

Published 28-Sept-2023