Visioning | Birkdale Community Precinct

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Another exciting milestone has been reached on the path to creating a world-class, multi-generational community heart for Redlands Coast. The Birkdale Community Precinct Vision document brings together the ideas gathered from the community during an extensive engagement program earlier this year and presents them as concepts, offering a look at how they may work spatially on the site. This is by no means a completed design. It is instead the first step in drafting a master plan for the precinct where the community again will be invited to have their say.

Another exciting milestone has been reached on the path to creating a world-class, multi-generational community heart for Redlands Coast. The Birkdale Community Precinct Vision document brings together the ideas gathered from the community during an extensive engagement program earlier this year and presents them as concepts, offering a look at how they may work spatially on the site. This is by no means a completed design. It is instead the first step in drafting a master plan for the precinct where the community again will be invited to have their say.

  • Extensive and exciting vision for Birkdale Community Precinct

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Redland City Council has formally adopted the Birkdale Community Precinct Vision document – another step towards creation of an exciting community heart for Redlands Coast.

    Mayor Karen Williams said the ideas from the community and presented as a spatial representation in the vision document provided an exciting glimpse at what the 62-hectare site could become. “This is not the Council’s vision for the site; it is what the community told us they would like to see there,” Cr Williams said.

    “To see many of the ideas suggested by the community during our sensationally supported engagement phase actually placed on a map really gives you an impression of how large a scale this vision is and how much can be accommodated on the precinct.

    “It shows how the precinct could operate effectively with a multitude of purposes and outcomes and is an exciting glimpse into what our future generations can enjoy.

    “It also begins to show the broader picture. Birkdale Community Precinct will have benefits well beyond its boundaries with major public transport upgrades; employment opportunities during its establishment and then ongoing; and as an attractive location for enterprises and ventures across a wide spectrum.”

    Cr Williams said the vision placed a range of rural experiences around a restored Willards Farm.

    “It could operate in tandem with bush tucker gardens and agritourism opportunities and more,” she said.

    “It respects and protects the precinct’s valuable natural habitat while also providing plenty of room for bush walks, wetlands boardwalks, an aquatic centre and adventure play hub, open lawn spaces and eco-camping facilities.

    “The vision places the Redland Whitewater Centre – which will be an event venue for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games – in an existing cleared area adjacent to the aquatic centre and with the area possibly having canoe access from Tingalpa Creek. It clearly shows the centre and associated aquatic playground takes up just a small portion of the overall site.

    “The heritage-listed former World War II radio receiving station takes pride of place in the centre of a pedestrian spine running through the precinct, offering the possibility of a memorial site as well as World War II artefact displays. This sits next to a First Nations ceremonial space and cultural history centre.”

    Cr Williams said the vision showed Birkdale Community Precinct’s potential to be transformed into a world-class precinct that would be a multi-generational showpiece for Redlands Coast.

    “It will be a picturesque, vibrant and diverse destination which provides benefits beyond its boundaries in helping to define Redlands Coast,” she said.

    “The plan doesn’t represent a completed design that is ready to be built. It is instead an interpretation of what it could look like.

    “This document brings together the ideas gathered from the community during an extensive seven-week engagement program and presents them as concepts. It will be used to inform a draft master plan for the precinct for which there will be further extensive community engagement.

    “The vision document is structured around the precinct’s significant heritage, cultural and conservation values, all of which will be protected.

    “Remember, this was Commonwealth land before Council bought it in December 2019 to save it from being subdivided after the Federal Government had earmarked it for about 400 housing lots.

    “To see it on the path to becoming a world-class community asset is such an achievement.”

    Cr Williams said this stage in the visioning process had been shaped by a huge and unprecedented response from the Redlands Coast community.

    “When the community was invited to help create a shared vision for the site during the engagement program which ran from March to May this year, the response was phenomenal,” she said.

    “All of those, literally, thousands of ideas and creative suggestions and discussions and sharing of personal stories, are now coming together to form the heart of this precinct.

    “This is a long-term project that delivers on the diverse views our community showed us they had for future use of this unique site.

    “The community will continue to have ongoing input into the planning for what is shaping up as potentially one of this city’s finest achievements.”

    Precinct Vision highlights:

    Adopted by Redland City Council on 18 August, 2021, the Birkdale Community Precinct Vision document is an overarching framework to guide decision making and allow individuals, institutions and businesses to establish a dialogue about the prospective future of the precinct. It brings together the multitude of ideas gathered during the engagement process and presents them spatially on the site as concepts.

    Environment and ecology

    Whether it's a bush walk on an Aboriginal art trail or wetlands boardwalk, kayaking along Tingalpa Creek, learning about local wildlife and landscape stewardship on an overnight camping trip, or taking in the scenery from a treetop walk – the precinct could deliver a multitude of sustainable ways for visitors to enjoy and experience the landscape.

    Key elements include: wetlands walk, bush walks, eco-camping and treetop walk.

    Agriculture and rural tradition

    The legacy of Willards Farm presents a unique opportunity to create a dynamic cluster of agritourism destinations and community assets that celebrate the region's rural tradition and history.

    Key elements include: Willards agrifarm experience, flexible farmer’s market space and paddock-to-plate café and dining.

    Heritage and history

    Birkdale Community Precinct could incorporate the respectful protection, adaptation and reuse of the area’s significant heritage assets through showcasing local First Nations stories and land management practises and celebrating and reusing Willards Farm and the US Army Corps-built

    World War II radio receiving station.

    Key elements include: connection to Country, pioneer past and World War II history

    Adventure and recreation

    The precinct could offer a dynamic and diverse range of adventurous experiences that cater to all ages and abilities, while also establishing a world-class destination for live sport and events – a truly multidimensional destination with something for everybody, keeping visitors coming back for more.

    Key elements include: Redland Whitewater Centre, aquatic centre, swimming and water play, adventure play hub and flexible events lawns.

    Education and discovery

    Engaging learning experiences could be embedded throughout the precinct, with opportunities for local stewardship showcasing everything from Traditional Owner land management techniques and

    wildlife education, renaturalising processes, as well as innovative agricultural research and technologies.

    Key elements include: bush tucker garden, ag-tech hub and wildlife and landcare centre.


  • Historic Willards Farm looks to the future

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Maintenance work and an updated Conservation Management Plan (Heritage) are underway for the historic heritage-protected Willards Farm as its future place within Birkdale Community Precinct begins to take shape.

    Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said a program of works was being prepared around future restoration priorities for the site, which is one of the oldest surviving farms and residences on Redlands Coast, believed to date back to the 1870s.

    “Works were completed recently to help stabilise the structural integrity of the farmhouse’s main supports,” Cr Williams said.

    “This is such a well-loved and important property in terms of our city’s European history and it will no doubt become a jewel in the crown of Birkdale Community Precinct as we go forward.

    “On-site investigations have been completed as part of developing the updated conservation management plan for Willards Farm.

    “There also will be maintenance work carried out on some of the farm’s significant trees in coming months.”

    VIDEO: The House Detective visits Willards Farm

    Cr Williams said that as well as Willards Farm, Birkdale Community Precinct’s protected heritage areas included the former World War II radio receiving station built in 1943 by the US Army Signals Corp and its associated rhombic array of radio antennas.

    “The heritage values of this precinct are incredibly important, genuinely fascinating and will be protected,” Cr Williams said.


    Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said Willards Farm, aka The Pines, held a special place in both history and the heart of the Birkdale community.

    “There are so many heritage values tied up in this place, there are gateways to knowledge and ongoing stories of significance yet to be explored here,” Cr Bishop said.

    The original homestead and surrounding buildings, such as the milking shed and creamery, help to anchor the entire Birkdale Community Precinct within its early European and pioneer context.

    “The place is of so much value to future generations it cannot be underestimated.

    “The structures were built by the Willards using simple bush carpentry techniques made from local timbers felled on site, including white beech, swamp beech, cedar and pine.

    “The exact date the homestead was constructed is uncertain but it was likely around 1876 when owners James and Margaret Willard took out a mortgage on the land they had owned and farmed since 1865.”

    VIDEO: Explore the history of Willards Farm

    Cr Williams said Council bought the property at 302 Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale, in March 2016 following community concern that the site was subject to a development approval for subdivision into residential allotments.

    “Once Willards Farm was saved, Council worked long and hard to negotiate the purchase of the neighbouring 61-hectares of Commonwealth land,” she said.

    “The Commonwealth had indicated this land was tagged as surplus. As such, it also was in threat of being subdivided into residential allotments, with the Government suggesting it could accommodate 400 houses.

    “Council managed to secure the purchase of the land in December 2019.

    “The combined properties now form Birkdale Community Precinct.

    “It is such a large property that a large number of uses and facilities can be accommodated without impacting on the precinct’s heritage values.

    “Other uses will also bring attention and appreciation to the heritage-listed sites that it contains.”

    Cr Williams said a vision document for the precinct was currently being prepared and would be presented to Council shortly.

    “The document will include high level, aspirational concepts for Willards Farm and its surrounding land to reflect ideas as suggested by the community during Council’s seven-week community engagement program earlier this year,” she said

    Some of the ideas put forward for Willards Farm by the community include ventures such as farmers’ market place, bush food gardens, a café or restaurant, paddock-to-plate dining experiences, and an agrifarm experience demonstrating traditional and contemporary farming methods.

    Further community consultation will occur at the master planning stage, Cr Williams said.

  • Thank you

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Council thanks all those who contributed to the first phase of creating a shared vision for Birkdale Community Precinct.
    We are currently working with urban design consultants on a vision document that will translate your aspirations for the precinct.
    The vision will be based on the themes of education/discovery, agriculture/rural tradition, heritage/history, environment/ecology and adventure/recreation and future use ideas that you contributed.
    Some of your ideas included picnic facilities, cycling and walking paths, access to natural areas, dining areas, community markets, camping and overnight stays, an amphitheatre and performance spaces, education facilities, paddock to plate, wildlife tourism, night walks, new swimming pool, water play, Olympic standard whitewater and adventure sports/play.
    Protection of environmental conservation areas and the sites recognised heritage are non-negotiables for developing the vision.
  • Community feedback to inform vision for Birkdale Community Precinct

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Redland City Council today voted to develop a vision for Birkdale Community Precinct, based on a huge response from the community.
    Mayor Karen Williams thanked the community for having its say on ideas for the 62ha site, including younger residents who Council heard from in greater proportion than it usually does for Council engagements.
    “We heard from all age groups, saw some 3,000 people visit the site for open days; had more than 25,000 interactions online; 1600 surveys completed; about 700 people attending pop-ups across the city; and held a series of ideas forums involving school students, youth groups and interested stakeholders, community groups and organisations,” Cr Williams said.
    “The community engagement has provided a clear, well-rounded picture of what the community wants and expects for the transformation of the site, which will be a project spanning 25 years.”
    The vision will incorporate five core themes into a future community-use precinct: environment/ecology; adventure/recreation; heritage/history; education/discovery; and agriculture/rural tradition.
    Cr Williams said the core themes would be the building blocks for a world-class precinct that would serve Redlands Coast for generations to come.
    “We received a strong response to our call for people to tell us what they wanted to see as part of what is one of the most exciting projects ever proposed on Redlands Coast,” she said.
    “The community told us they wanted picnic facilities, cycling and walking paths and circuits, access to Tingalpa Creek and natural areas, café and dining areas, community markets, camping and overnight stays, an amphitheatre and performance spaces, education and training facilities, paddock to plate, wildlife tourism and night walks.
    “They supported the concept of a Redlands Coast Adventure Sports Precinct – including an Olympic-standard pool, Olympic-standard canoe slalom whitewater facility that could serve as a venue should Brisbane be selected as host of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, water play and adventure sports facilities.
    “They also saw preserving the natural environment and our heritage as priorities.
    “I thank the thousands of people who participated in the consultation for their invaluable submissions. This feedback has, and will continue to be, of enormous assistance in guiding us during the planning stages.”
    Cr Williams said Council would continue to consult the community in the development of the precinct, including significant community engagement on a draft master plan.
    An analysis of feedback data from the first round of consultation showed 17 per cent (approximately one in six) Redlands Coast households indicated an interest in the project by visiting the Birkdale Community Precinct Your Say page.
    Eighty-eight per cent of respondents to the engagement were Redlands Coast residents, approximately three in four Birkdale households visited Council’s Your Say web page to seek information about the proposed development of the site and, importantly, all suburbs were represented in survey responses and submissions.
    Cr Williams said Birkdale Community Precinct provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Council to develop a community-use area catering to the diverse tastes of the community and the uses they envisaged for the site.
    “It presents the opportunity to create a world-class precinct that could drive employment, boost local and regional economies, become a significant drawcard for tourism and shine an even brighter light on the naturally wonderful Redlands Coast,” she said.
    “The site has identified environmental, cultural and historical significance, which will be protected.
    “This is a large precinct that has space for many exciting projects that would enhance lifestyle and benefit communities and economies, as well as bring forward important transport infrastructure.”
    A dedicated Redlands Coast Your Say page was at the centre of the campaign.
    It featured extensive facts about the site along Old Cleveland Road East at Birkdale, as well as videos, detailed commissioned reports, a virtual tour and the survey portal.
    “It is evident the five themes that formed the basis of the engagement have all resonated with the community,” Cr Williams said.
    “The huge response was staggering.
    “It shows that the community really has a sense of ownership over this land and are genuinely interested in what it could become, not only for themselves, but for generations to come.”
    For the agenda from the Council meeting, go to: 27 May 2021 Agenda

  • Tour the Birkdale Community Precinct and help shape its future

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Redland City Council is offering a rare opportunity to tour the Birkdale Community Precinct and help shape the future for this important Redlands Coast land.

    The precinct will be open to the community on two days in April – Friday the 16th and Saturday the 17th from 10am-4pm.

    Mayor Karen Williams said the community was invited to the Family Fun Days that will include guided tours on a trackless train, animal petting zoo for children, music, interpretive signage and displays about the history of the site including two heritage listed area – Willards Farm and the fascinating US Army-built World War II radio receiving station.

    “At the Family Fun Days you will be able to not only get a look at this land that has never been open to the public since European settlement, but you will be able to give Council your feedback on ideas for the site,” Cr Williams said.

    “We have a once-in-a generation opportunity to transform more than 62 hectares of community land here at Birkdale into a world-class precinct of local, regional and national significance.

    “Council worked hard over many years to secure this land for the community, and now we want the community to help shape the vision for its future.

    “It will be exciting to visit the precinct on the open days as this land has been off-limits so we want to let the community start to discover its outstanding features. In the 1940s most of this site came under Commonwealth Government control, and continued to be until Council purchased it in 2019.”

    Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said the open days would allow community members and those from further afield to walk the land, learn about its rich history and imagine what it could become.

    “There are just so many stories from the site’s past that can inspire future uses,” Cr Bishop said. “I would also love to hear any other stories about the site from the community. You can also add your stories on Council’s Your Say page.”

    “Redland Museum will also be at the Family Fun Days providing information, displays and their famous Devonshire teas.”

    The precinct is made up of more than 61 hectares of former Commonwealth Land and the 8164-square-metre Willards Farm site which council bought in 2016 to save it from residential subdivision. The entire site is almost 10 times the size of The Gabba and its surrounding facilities in Brisbane.

    To help get the community thinking and imagining what could be possible at the precinct, five top urban design and landscape architecture teams were asked to each develop a theme as visual ideas. Their themes were: Education and Discovery; Agriculture and Rural Tradition; Heritage and History; Environment and Ecology; Adventure and Recreation.

    Their ideas will be on display at the Birkdale Community Precinct Family Fun Days and also can be viewed on at yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au where you also will find more details on the open days and the tours of the site.

    The main meeting area onsite will centre around Willards Farm, 302 Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale. Look out for signage for parking. If you can’t make it to the site in person, you can take a virtual tour of the site at yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au.

    Community consultation will close on Tuesday 4 May, 2021 after which Council will prepare a draft vision for adoption then proceed to master planning.

    DIARY NOTE:

    Birkdale Community Precinct Family Fun Days, 302 Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale, Friday, April 16 & Saturday, April 17, 10am to 4pm. More details: yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au

  • Help shape the vision for a world-class precinct for Redlands Coast

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Imagine a place on Redlands Coast where families can enjoy a water park, adventure sports, walking and cycling trails, picnic areas, educational and heritage activities, or even paddock-to-plate experiences all in one location.

    Mayor Karen Williams said Redlands Coast had a once-in-a generation opportunity to transform more than 62 hectares of community land at Birkdale into a world-class precinct of local, regional and national significance; and was encouraging the community to have their say.

    “The Birkdale Community Precinct includes two properties Council saved from housing – the former Commonwealth land at Birkdale and Willards Farm,” Cr Williams said.

    “At almost 10 times the size of The Gabba and its surrounding facilities, the precinct has plenty of space for many exciting projects that would enhance lifestyle, create jobs, boost the local economy and bring forward important transport infrastructure.

    “Council is also investigating purchasing other nearby land, which could increase the precinct to almost 100 hectares.

    “Council worked hard over many years to secure this land for the community, and now we want the community to help shape the vision for its future.”

    Cr Williams said the precinct, which had a 25-year horizon, had significant potential to bring forward important transport infrastructure, as well as an adventure sports and aquatic facility including new pool, water park and Olympic standard whitewater course.

    “This is a really exciting opportunity to deliver a precinct that rivals anything currently on Redlands Coast or arguably South East Queensland. Think of Brisbane’s South Bank or the Strand at Townsville – it’s time for Redlands Coast to have somewhere like these well-known recreation areas,” she said.

    “Much of the land is former farming land, so there are large cleared areas where we can build some really exciting projects for local families.

    “But this is about so much more than a new pool and water park, this precinct also has some really important environmental, cultural and historical significance, which will be protected and celebrated.”

    Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said one of the many interesting historical aspects of the property is the World War II radio receiving station.

    “This heritage-listed receiving station is one of south-east Queensland’s most significant World War II sites that still remains largely intact,” Cr Bishop said.

    “Constructed by elite US Army radio signalmen and Australian Post Master General (PMG) officers as the Japanese advanced toward Australia in 1942 and then used for top-secret High Frequency radio telecommunications until 2017, its story has been locked away for years.

    “Now this project will give the community the chance to learn about this exciting history and decide how it can be celebrated in the future.

    “Council has undertaken extensive environmental and cultural studies of the site and is committed to best practice management of environmental and heritage matters of significance.

    “We have management plans in place to protect the precinct’s unique values; and now we have an opportunity to help shape a shared vision for the future of this precinct.”

    Cr Williams said that to help get the community thinking and imagining what could be possible at the precinct, five top urban design teams were asked to each develop a theme as visual ideas.

    “The themes are Education and Discovery; Agriculture and Rural Tradition; Heritage and History; Environment and Ecology; Adventure and Recreation,” she said.

    “The designs these experts came up with are not intended to portray what will ultimately be at the precinct, but to help people imagine what its future uses could be and what is actually possible on the land.

    “They are intended as springboards into people’s ideas and imaginings.”

    To see the expert designers’ ideas plus videos and other information, and to take a virtual tour of the precinct and have your say.

    The community also can visit the precinct during two community open days on Friday and Saturday, 16-17 April.

    Also keep watch for other opportunities to have your say at pop-up stalls across Redlands Coast.

    Details for the community open days and pop-ups will be advertised ahead of time and published on the Your Say page.

    Community consultation will close on Tuesday 4 May, 2021 after which Council will prepare a draft vision for adoption then proceed to master planning.

Page last updated: 20 August 2021, 12:37