Approved Development for Heritage-Listed Sherwood Road Mansion Site Under Appeal

It looks like the planned restoration of the historic ‘Dovercourt’ on Sherwood Road may be up for further discussion, with some locals appealing to the Planning and Environment Court to overturn the approval of its development application.

On 26 May 2022, Andrew Newman and Christine Newman lodged a Notice of Appeal seeking, among others, the Planning and Environment Court to issue an order/judgment to:

  • allow the appeal;
  • refuse of the development application;
  • instruct the respondent to reinstate the waterway designation to the dry creek as contained in the previous Brisbane Town Plan including its attendant Riparian Amenity;
  • instruct the respondent to ensure the owner the properly replace the Moreton Bay Fig tree which has recently been allowed to die with a like tree in the same location

There were 15 grounds mentioned in the appeal including:

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage has not been assessed. Aboriginal peoples are culturally connected to the area and an Aboriginal Scar Tree and stone tools were identified in the last few years along Toowong Creek within less than a kilometre from 124 Sherwood Rd, Toowong
  • The ecology of the site has not been adequately investigated or reported. No suitably qualified person has reported on the ecology of the well-established, heavily vegetated site.
  • The application and approval did not address that the site is ecologically important in terms of its relationship to the surrounding environment.
  • The design, mass and siting of the proposed dwellings are unsympathetic to the local heritage residential character and will significantly reduce the visual amenity of the neighbouring properties.

Sitting on a 7,036sqm property at 124 Sherwood Road in Toowong, ‘Dovercourt’ was approved for redevelopment on 26 May 2022.

Acquired by Kirsty Faichen in 2020, the heritage-listed homestead was planned for a renovation involving major repairs on the south-side verandah, plumbing and electrical installations, ceilings, walls and roof. 

To fund the renovation, Ms Faichen plans to subdivide the property, excluding the 4,000sqm on which Dovercourt sits, where five new dwellings and a new driveway will be built on the rear portion of the property.

proposed plans on Sherwood Road site
Proposed plans on Sherwood Road site | Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /

Even before the property was sold, some locals were already voicing concerns over a possible loss of tree cover at the site should the property get acquired by developers. They called for Brisbane City Council to intervene and buy the property instead but it didn’t materialise.

“Despite not mentioning anything about selling or developing the property when they bought it, the new owners are now proposing a subdivision for four new lots on the rear part of the site, and to build four new townhouse-style homes and a new driveway. This development would cause a loss of up to 16 out of the 29 mature trees on the site,” Michael Berkman – Greens MP for Maiwar’s social media post reads.

“While I’m pleased to see the heritage house will be protected, I’m disappointed it looks like we’ll lose this significant urban bushland, and I still believe this was a massive missed opportunity by Council.” he added.

The proposed plans, however, says that several of the mature trees will be maintained. 

“Regardless of the clear disconnect between the lower portion of the site and the heritage building, the design maintains several mature trees that could be associated with heritage significance of the premises,” the Assessment Report said.

“The pre-1946 aerial image illustrates trees associated with the heritage significance of the site. These trees are all identified for retention. Furthermore, additional vegetation has been detailed for retention around the heritage building.”

Heritage-Listed ‘Dovercourt’ to Undergo Major Restoration

Heritage-listed ‘Dovercourt’ is set for a major makeover to bring the 1860s-era brick mansion to life after years of being in a state of disrepair. 

Dovercourt sits on 7,036sqm land at 124 Sherwood Road, Toowong. The homestead was built by English architect William Henry Ellerker sometime in the 1860s to his own design before it was auctioned off in 1867. At the time, it had just four rooms and a detached kitchen and servant’s room. It also had a three-stalled stable, coach house, corn room and fowl house.

Dovercourt was also used as a residence for the boarders of Mr Mark’s School and had been owned by several of Brisbane’s affluent families. After being home for three generations of the Bigge family, the house was put on the market in 2020. Amid calls by locals for Brisbane City Council to acquire the property, Dovercourt was eventually sold to Kirsty Faichen.

Heritage-listed ‘Dovercourt’ interior
Photo Credit:

Ms Faichen plans to live in the house with her two daughters after it undergoes renovations with the original features of the house she wants to be restored to its former glory. To bring one of Brisbane’s greatest mansions back to life, however, would require huge funding. And so, she had the property subdivided into five lots where five houses would be built whilst the remaining 4,000sqm would undergo a major makeover. 

Dovercourt verandah
Photo Credit:

Ms Faichen, who also tried to purchase heritage-listed ‘Endrim’, stressed that restoring the homestead is an enormous project which would involve extensive repairs on the south-side verandah, plumbing and electrical installations, ceilings, walls and roof.

Locals were not happy, though, with the subdivision of the property and are already raising funds to challenge the Council’s decision.

Dovercourt: Stunning Heritage Landmark in Toowong to Undergo Makeover

Dovercourt, a stunning 1864 colonial homestead in Toowong, is set to get a multi-million dollar makeover from its new owner.

Kirtsty Faichen has filed a development application (DA A005718313) to conduct operational work on the heritage site. The new owner is also seeking to reconfigure and subdivided the land, spanning 7,036 square metres, for additional building work and home improvements. 

In the development application, Ms Faichen detailed the intention to retain 4,000 square metres of Dovercourt as a family home and to pour multi-million dollars into restoring the colonial house. 

Photo Credit:

Dovercourt once belonged to the Bigge family for over 90 years. Ms Faichen, who is a lawyer and a heritage site campaigner, bought the property in 2020. 

She and her family knew this would be a keeper when they discovered a trapdoor in a hidden cellar in the kitchen. Even today, the house still has its original dumbwaiter and massive folding doors dividing the dining room and kitchen. 

The lawyer said she will invest in getting this restoration right by refurbishing the unusable rooms and improving the plumbing and electrical matters of the old house.

Photo Credit: Savills/

In doing the restorations, Ms Faichen said that she has gotten access to some of the photos of the house from the 1800s to the early 1900s. The lawyer will also work with a heritage landscape architect to protect the trees and shrubs around the property. 

Photo Credit: Savills/

As for the additional five houses to be built on the property, Ms Faichen said it will be in character and will have similar features as the colonial house. 

She has produced a book about Dovercourt, which will be showcased to her new neighbours in Toowong during a planned open house, where she will tell them about her plans for the development. On 30 June 2021, a public notification has also been issued where locals may submit their inputs on the upcoming project.

Photo Credit: Developmenti/Brisbane City Council

Architect William Henry Ellerker designed and built the Dover Court Cottage as his own home. Mr Ellerker is known for designing heaps of properties in Brisbane, including the Teneriffe House and the commercial sites in Queen Street. In the late 1890s, the Bigge family moved into Dovercourt to become their family home for three generations.