Nestled on the Redcliffe foreshore, Suttons Beach Park is loved by locals and visitors alike. The park extends between Redcliffe Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club and the end of Macdonnell Road (see map of location). Centrally located in Suttons Beach Park is the now vacant Suttons Beach Pavilion.
Council is investigating options for the future of the pavilion buildings and the park. This investigation includes technical studies to conclusively determine the structural condition of the deteriorating buildings and consultation and engagement to understand the values and views of key stakeholders and the community. See a breakdown of the project steps and timeframes.
In response to some identified building defects, council commissioned a sequence of four independent consultants to undertake structural inspections of the buildings.
These investigations found extensive building defects due to age, construction issues (including outdated construction methods), water ingress and proximity to the foreshore.
Read the technical reports.
The future of the buildings has not yet been decided.
While the expert technical reports commissioned by Council to date have indicated partial or full demolition of the buildings was a possibility/inevitability, Council is continuing to investigate three options for the future of the buildings:
- fully rectify/refurbish
- partially demolish and partially retain with rectification and refurbishment
- demolish and replace.
Based on recommendations in the previous four technical reports, Council has commissioned independent experts to undertake both non-invasive and invasive testing to validate and be absolutely sure of the significance of the deterioration of the buildings’ structural elements. Read more about this work.
Regardless of the outcome, Council is committed to understanding and meeting the needs of our communities and ensuring this space is available for their benefit.
Have your say
The Suttons Beach Public Space Project Community Survey was the first step in community consultation. It was open to all community members between 11 February and 25 March 2022 and aimed to help Council:
- better understand the current use of the site and how the community might use the park in the future
- gather local stories to help develop interpretive signage in the park to share the history of the site and showcase community connection to this special place
- determine what potential replacement buildings and facilities should be considered if the imminent
- non-invasive and invasive testing confirms demolition or partial demolition of the buildings is necessary.
Survey participants told us they support either restoring the existing pavilion buildings or building new structures that reflect the art deco design and provide access to food and drink services, enjoying the natural surrounds and social activities. They also told us the rotunda is valued and its attributes should be retained.
Read the full Community Survey Findings Report.
Council officers are currently engaging directly with community, business and park user groups to better understand their views on the site and how it could be used in the future. This includes meeting with the Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group (read the Joint Statement Council issued with this group) and the Redcliffe Surf Life Saving Club (read the Statement of Intent between Council and Redcliffe Surf Lifesaving Club).
We know great places are ones that are unique and well used. So, before any final decisions on the long-term future of Suttons Beach Park and the facilities and buildings within it are made there will be further consultation.
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The uses of the Suttons Beach foreshore site and the structures that have stood on it have changed dramatically over time. The original Suttons Beach Pavilion, a bathing pavilion and kiosk for beach goers, was built in 1937 and has been altered significantly since it was built. The newer pavilion (a function centre) was constructed 20 years ago in 2002 when the site underwent its most recent redevelopment. This newer pavilion was not built by Council but was sold to Council by a previous owner in 2006. Today, two pavilion buildings, a rotunda built in 1998, concrete pathways and grassed areas occupy the site. The pavilion buildings are now vacant. You can read more about the history of the site since the 1860s here.
Changing face of the Suttons Beach foreshore site...
Council engaged a heritage consultant to undertake a significance assessment of the older pavilion in late 2018. The findings of this report confirmed that following extensive alterations and extensions, very little of the original pavilion building has survived over time. A second heritage expert in January 2022 also confirmed this finding. What we currently see is therefore not a true reflection of the original building form. A faux art deco style was used when the building was extended and modified.
Read the heritage assessment.
In 2019, Council allocated $500,000 to try to stop a known issue with water from the cliffs coming through the walls and into the slab of the older pavilion. However, site inspections identified potential structural damage and suggested repair expenditure could be a waste of ratepayer funds. After that, the first of four engineering assessments was commissioned, which confirmed serious building defects and led to further investigations and where we are today.
Factors potentially contributing to the current deteriorated state of the buildings include:
- initial building design and whether it was done to deal with the harsh beachside environment
- quality of construction materials, workmanship and construction materials
- maintenance regime by Council and a succession of building tenants.
Looking to the Future
Council is aware that the significance of Suttons Beach extends to the social connections the Redcliffe Peninsula and wider community hold to this location. Council’s planning for the future of the site is carefully considering community connections to the space and how these can be maintained going forward.
Public safety remains the highest priority when deciding the future of Suttons Beach Park and the buildings and facilities within it.
The future of Suttons Beach Public Space has not yet been decided.
The next major decision will be determining if the pavilion buildings, or any part of them, can be reasonably saved. This decision will be informed by the results of the invasive and non-invasive building testing and cost estimates.
See a breakdown of the project steps and timeframes.
Once the current condition of the buildings is confirmed and pathways forward are identified, Council will consider community views and preferences alongside other factors that will influence the future of the site. This may include but not be limited to:
- ensuring the costs of any new building works represent good value for the use of public funds
- feasibility investigations including determining the viability of any potential commercial use
- expert built form and landscaping design advice
- current and projected future park usage patterns
- master planning for the park
- return of the building to its original community-focused access and uses
- potential foreshore activations.