Construction of The Village Manly to Start in Spring

Despite objections from the community and delays brought about by coronavirus restrictions, the construction of The Village Manly, the $70-million retirement home development in Lota, has been scheduled to start in the spring.

Stage one of The Village Manly will consist of two four-storey buildings with 23 apartment units, with a projected completion date sometime between September 2022 – March 2023. The work will open 100 new jobs for tradies.

Details of the second stage are still scarce but The Village Manly development is expected to provide two more buildings with six levels. The development will also include a cinema, a yoga and dance studio, cafes and restaurants, a gym and pool, a hair salon, a club lounge with a billiards room, and a medical health suite.  

Photo Credit: Developmenti/Brisbane City Council

Natural, open green spaces will surround the apartments whilst the heritage-listed Lota House, built in 1865, will be untouched. This was one of the main contentions of those who objected to the development plans when it was first submitted in 2018 (DA A004942635). The community feared that the medium-rise development would impact and overshadow the area’s character and habitat. 

The Village Manly
Photo Credit: Developmenti/Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council initially turned down the application but The Village Retirement Group and Anglicare re-appealed with the Planning and Environment Court after submitting amended plans to reduce the building’s height and the number of units.

The court overturned Council’s rejection in late 2019.

Lota House: COVID-19 Delays New Retirement Village Construction

The COVID-19 pandemic will delay the redevelopment of the heritage-listed Lota House. Detailed designs of the $67 million retirement village facility, located some two kilometres off the Manly Boat Harbour, are still in the process of finalisation.

A spokesperson for the Village Retirement Group confirmed that the pandemic has impacted plans for Lota House. It comes after the Manly retirement village project received heavy opposition from Bayside residents. 

Brisbane City Council previously rejected the development application but the Planning and Environment Court overturned the ruling in late 2019. Locals said that the planned retirement village will ruin the view, character area and habitat surrounding the Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Building (Lota House).

Photo Credit: PD Online/Brisbane City Council
Photo Credit: PD Online/Brisbane City Council

Brief History of the Lota House

Located at 162 Oceana Terrace, this house was built in 1865 for William Duckett White and his family. It remained in the Duckett White family until a grandson, also named William,  subdivided the estate in 1911. 

In 1913, a cousin, Graham Ernest Mylne, bought the property and moved in with his wife and children. Following his death in 1958, his wife Kathleen sold Lota House to the Anglican Church. The church used the money gifted by Mr Marsden Tooth, a businessman and philanthropist, to establish a home care facility. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Lota House was listed as a heritage site in 1992 as significant to the establishment of the upper-class estates in Brisbane’s eastern bayside area. It is one of the oldest surviving residential homes in Manly-Lota, showing a glimpse of the 1860s Georgian influence. 

The property is still owned by the Anglican Church. 

Why Residents Opposed Redevelopment

About 100 Bayside residents protested after the original ruling saying no to development was overturned. Locals don’t want a high-rise in the area. 

“Multi-storey developments would significantly change the area and ruin it in our eyes,” one resident said. “Lota is a quiet leafy suburb with beautiful green space and picnic/playground areas on the waterfront. Increasing density opens up the area to significant commercial development. Friends, family, neighbours and locals alike that I have spoken to, invested in this area for the quiet retreat that it is.”

The Bayside Action Group also opposes the development because the planned retirement village will cost between $755,000 and $849,000 per unit. 

“This means that many local residents who currently live in the area will not be able to afford these units and will need to look at options outside the area. The Anglican Church  says that the local community wants this development so families can remain close, but it appears that most will not be able to afford to live in this development if built.”

Did You Know This Oceana Terrace Property is the Oldest Surviving House in the Manly-Lota Area?

The oldest surviving dwelling in the Manly-Lota area is a two-storey brick building with timber extensions built circa 1865-1867 and called the Lota House.

The 19th-century villa’s fascinating history is reflected in its Georgian style which influenced the early settlers of Australia. It originally had a moulded brick chimney at every end of the roof, a wide concrete verandah to three sides, and French doors and shutters connecting the stone verandahs.

Located at 162 Oceana Terrace, Lota house was erected on portion 79, comprising 153 acres purchased by Irish born Queensland early settler, William Duckett White in November 1860.

When it was built in the 1860s, the house served as a family home to White and his wife, Jane. WD White is a politician known for his appointment to the Queensland Legislative Council for almost two decades. He also served as warden of Tingalpa’s Anglican Church.

White’s son-in-law, Graham Mylne, described Lota House as a grand, comfortable new house with large rooms, fresh breezes, and views over Moreton Bay. Jane White designed the extensive gardens surrounding a curved drive leading through open grass paddocks.

One of the notable features of the house is the dairy located on the southwest corner,  curtailing the surrounding ground floor verandahs. Further to the west, there were yards, cow bales, fowl houses and pig styes, as well as a hut accommodating South Sea Islanders working on the property.

The Whites loved welcoming guests in their home and had prominent personalities like Governor Bowen and RGW Herbert as some of the frequent visitors.

WD White lived in the house until his death in 1893. Various tenants rented the house following his demise during which time it fell into disrepair and the garden deteriorated.

When it was acquired by White’s grandson William Duckett White (Duckett) in 1908, he renovated the house and extended it. It had a school room, a billiard room, servants’ quarters, and a single-storeyed day nursery.

In 1913, Duckett sold the house Graham Ernest Mylne, another grandson of WD White. The Mylnes resided at Lota House until Graham’s death in 1958, following which the family sold the property to the Anglican Church in late 1960.

On 21 October 1992, Lota House was listed on Queensland Heritage Register after meeting a number of criteria, including the fact it is one of few 1860s residences of its type to survive in Queensland.

Lota House At Present

At the outdoor seating of E.M. Tooth Residential Aged Care (Photo credit: Anglicare Southern Queensland)

Lota House is also known today as Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home. The home has recently been extended and refurbished through a $15m capital development project intended to make the facility more family-orientated.

In 2018, The Village Retirement Group lodged a development application for a property in Oceana Terrace that includes the heritage-listed Lota House. Brisbane City Council rejected the proposal for 100 retirement units because the scale of the development was in conflict with the low-density residential suburb.

Now more than 150 years later, the house still stands and is still part of an aged care facility. Local groups successfully ensured the preservation the house and its remnant eucalyptus woodland has come under a council preservation order.

Council’s Refusal of Proposed Retirement Facility at Lota House Appealed

The development application for the proposed retirement village at Oceana St in Lota has already been refused by the Brisbane City Council, but developers are already appealing the case in court.

In August 2018, the Village Retirement Group and Anglicare submitted a proposal to develop a retirement facility at 162 Oceana Tce in Lota — the site includes the heritage-listed Lota House.

The initial proposal consisted of four new buildings containing a total of 104 units, integrated within the Lota Court-Manly Anglicare Retirement Community and Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /

The proposed development would have Buildings 1 and 2 on the Oceana frontage at six storeys in height, and Buildings 3 and 4 on the Grace St frontage at seven storeys in height.

The plan was later amended, reducing the height to five and six storeys and removing one unit from the plan to provide an entry area that will connect the porte-cochere to the main lobby.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /

Despite the changes, the Council rejected the development application last 3 April as the council believes that the proposal was not in keeping with the character of the area and that it negatively impacts the 150-year-old heritage-listed Lota House, the existing vegetation, and traffic.

In particular, the Council cited that the “5 and 6 storey retirement facility is not consistent with the 1 and 2 storey low density residential character of the area.”

The decision also said that “the proposed 5 and 6 storey development does not complement the prevailing 1 and 2 storey low density residential scale, built form and streetscape of the surrounding area.”

The refusal comes after the local community actively called for the rejection of the proposal and more than 160 submissions, objecting to the application, were received.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /

The developers, however, appealed the case to the Planning and Environment court on grounds that the council did not provide sufficient basis for the refusal.

“The Development Application ought to be approved because the proposed development complies with all of the assessment benchmarks for the development. Alternatively, the Development Application ought to be approved if the proposed development does not comply with some of the assessment benchmarks.

“Further or in the alternative, the Development Application ought not to be refused as compliance with the assessment benchmarks can be achieved by the imposition of conditions,” the Notice of Appeal said.