Locals Worry Approved Tower Will Overshadow St Patrick’s Church

Concerns have been raised that an approved eight-storey building in Fortitude Valley, situated right next to St Patrick’s Catholic Church, would ‘overshadow’ the 140-year-old church. 

Read: New Plaza Part Of St Patrick’s Church Restoration

The proposal, which was given the green light in August 2021, seeks the establishment of an 8-storey commercial office building adjacent to St Patrick’s Church to the north-east. 

It will feature a rooftop garden and a space for the parish community to meet. The eight-storey building will also have two levels of basement car parking for 132 cars. 

It includes the restoration of the church which will not have a huge impact on its external elements and its iconic Gothic design.

Photo credit: Brisbane City Council PD Online

Residents believe the $120 million development will be far higher than the stated eight storeys. At a height of 42.8m, it would overshadow the 16m high apex of the church which would make it equivalent to 12 storeys.

Surrounding buildings only range from two to four storeys, except for the Eminence building which is seven storeys tall. The subject site, located along Morgan St, is presently used for carparking and by dog walkers. 

Artist’s impression of proposed eight-storey building (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council PD Online

Aside from  soaring above the St Patrick’s Catholic Church, some locals worried it may have an impact on privacy and residential amenities. 

Among those who sent their submission were residents of The East Village, who were concerned that the eight-storey building would overlook its apartments.

One local who wrote a submission to Council noted that the entire northern side of the building is clad with glass windows that will look directly into The East Village residences affording the occupants little privacy and constant responsibility to adjust their lives to suit the proposed building occupancy modes.

East Village (Photo credit: Ray White)

“Paired with the small separation distance and no landscaping, I believe that users will be able to look directly into my apartment and this impact on the privacy of my home and my lifestyle,” stated one resident. 

The Brisbane Catholic Archdiocese explained that the parish has been undertaking structural and other investigations to establish a final scope of works, which will come at significant cost. They have already consulted experts including specialist geotechnical engineers, structural engineers and heritage consultants for the works.

“These works will assist in ensuring St Patricks continues to remain as a long-standing form of Gothic Architecture and within suburban Brisbane. Additionally, the limited street presence beyond the immediate view from Morgan Street is to be retained and enhanced as part of the development,” Urbis wrote in an assessment report for the applicant. 

To see the full details regarding the proposed tower, see A005698653.