Owners of Clayfield’s ‘Wonga Villa’ Upset by New Units Being Built Too Close

Wonga Villa
194 Bonney Ave (Photo credit: Google Street View)

The owners of Wonga Villa, a colonial Queenslander on Bonney Avenue in Clayfield, are expressing concerns over a new development being built adjacent to their property, so close that they can almost touch them.


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The home, located at 194 Bonney Ave, was built in the early 1900s and purchased by the Bird family back in 2001. The family had hoped to sell the property in 2018 to downsize but still remain the owners up to this day.




An original development approval (DA) was granted in 2019 for the construction of a new two-storey complex next door. This DA outlined a 750mm boundary gap, matching the current space between the Wonga Villa and the fence line. 

Wonga Villa, a colonial Queenslander in Clayfield (Photo credit: realestate.com.au)

However, when construction started in April 2023, Wonga Villa’s owner Peter Bird claimed the concrete slabs were being placed much closer than approved.

Project perspective for 196, 196A & 198 Bonney Ave (Photo credit: Jazz Designs)

The new development application, designed by architects from Jazz Designs, has since received approval for proposed minor changes, including extending walls nearer to the southern boundary and squaring off unit shapes. 

Developers of the multiple dwellings at 196, 196A & 198 Bonney Avenue, also received a go-ahead to add block walls to each side, increase all finished floor levels by 300mm to allow stormwater discharge to be technically feasible, and configure window and door changes to all units.

The owners of Wonga Villa said they reached out to authorities but were reportedly told the issue was “beyond their authority.”

Photo credit: eBIMAP2

In response to the issue, Brisbane City Council noted that they investigated all concerns raised by Mr Bird but found the development complies with City Plan requirements and is being built per the approval. The application did not require public notification or referral to any agencies.


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The Bird family remains upset by how close the new buildings are to their home, to the point they can almost touch the new units from their property. They had hoped authorities would have protected the original boundary gap outlined in the first DA, as attempts to halt construction have so far been unsuccessful.

Published 31-July-2023