Partner Sought for Old Bishopsbourne Redevelopment in Milton

The Old Bishopsbourne site in Milton, one of the last largest green spaces in the inner city, may be up for a massive redevelopment if Anglican Church Southern Queensland succeeds in finding a partner or investor.

The Church has listed the landmark property with Knight Frank to attract proposals that may be adopted as a master-planned solution to “realise the maximum potential” of the property. However, the Church will still retain ownership of the site even as it will be redeveloped for other uses.

The site, also known as the St Francis Theological College, is under the “Community Purpose” zone but the real estate agents tout the property for future development as a “residential, retail, medical, educational, community services, and commercial precinct.” This has raised some concerns about the future of the heritage site as it might be compromised if there will be new constructions. 

Old Bishopsbourne has been established in 1868 and stands in an extremely rare green space when most areas in Milton no longer have large trees older than 100 years. Experts from the University of Queensland said that Milton’s loss of greenspace has made it vulnerable to the urban heat sink.  

Some residents, however, believe that the government should step in and help with the restoration.

“I understand the financial challenge of the good-hearted and not-for-profit church (which does a lot for charity) maintaining heritage buildings but if this is the argument they are using to develop (note, not sell) the site, then the government should be stepping in and providing support so that inner city greenspace is not lost and heritage is not compromised by new building work,” Jesse Taylor said. “It is very sad the church is forced into this position and a massive loss for Brisbane.”

“The State Government heritage register identifies the site as having ‘garden setting ambience.’ Will they step up to help the owners maintain the buildings and retain such an important site in original condition?”

Despite the property listing, the Church has prepared a video with Archbishop Phillip Aspinall who explained the need for the Expression of Interest process.

“Any proposal must consider the existing vegetation and heritage of the site,” Luke Chippendale said. 

“The Church values the site and wants to see it put to better community use. Education and community housing uses are among the suggestions from the community we have already received.”

The Church has also hosted a community consultation to receive more feedback from the residents on Wednesday, 11 May 2022.