You know at the Eagle we spend a lot of time writing about those awful neighbours with their barking dogs, dodgy fences and all night parties. However, spare a thought for the folk enduring those cashed ‘up look at me’ celebrities that have moved into their local hoods. Of course, no city in Australia attracts more of these types than our harbour city.
It has recently been reported that a pack of powerful Sydney celebrities are terrorising some of the city’s most exclusive and picturesque neighbourhoods in a way only wealthy people can: with extensive, offensive and expensive renovations.
Turning an entire suburb against you is the new measure of success. Guy Sebastian and Rove McManus are the latest A-listers to drive bulldozers through their respective beachside enclaves and whack up kilometres of scaffolding, causing mass annoyance in the process.
Pictures released this week illustrate the extent of the damage. Timber slats and steel beams lay strewn across the ground at both properties. Rubble and debris cover the land and ugly metal fences barricade the perimeters. To be frank, both properties look like construction sites. And, well, that’s because they are. But locals don’t seem to understand this and they’re fed up.
Sebastian’s reign of terror on Maroubra can be traced back to 2016 when he began overhauling the $3.1 million property he bought at auction three years prior. Three years on, the neighbours insist the nightmare continues.
The incomplete grey concrete mega mansion looms over the once laid-back suburb. It’s the size of a big box Westfield, looks like a prison, and may actually contain both a Kmart and one of those mini Woolworths Metros. These claims are unconfirmed.
It blocks out the sun and dwarfs the humble, heritage abode that cowers quietly to its side. A red “sold” sticker is now slapped across that former neighbour’s facade.
“He’s got a lot of money and we’re only little people. He’s not building a house, he’s building a fortress,” one neighbour told the press last year about the project.
In an attempt to harness the heartache of battling beachside residents and use it to finally create my Erin Brockovich moment, one Sydney reporter took the liberty of driving past Guy’s dust pit to assess the situation. As you can see from the pics, Guy is an aficionado of that cheery colour ‘concrete grey’.
What Guy’s aversion to windows is we don’t know, but apparently natural light is for losers.
The people of Maroubra can only take comfort in the news they aren’t alone. Just a few kilometres up the rugged coastline, a cloud of grey dust pollutes the air and drifts over the Tasman. It’s coming from former likeable guy next door Rove McManus’ joint. His bomb site, oops I mean homesite is probably the reason he ain’t that likeable anymore with the locals.
The five-bedroom 1920s beach house sprawls luxuriously up the hillside of Bronte. It’s perfect. But not perfect enough.
The comedian bought the mansion in 2016 for $6.4 million and renovations began a few months ago. Plans lodged last year detail an extensive overhaul including another level, basement garage and a plunge pool. Residents are so annoyed they’re using Rove’s own trademark catchphrase against him: “What the f@%k?”
To be honest, it’s probably the plunge pool that tipped locals over the edge because plunge pools are obnoxious and their purpose is vague. Do you need to go in one at a time? Or are you supposed to install his-and-hers plunge pools?
God lord what’s wrong with a plunge in the picturesque Bronte waters, they’re less than 70 metres away.
Perplexed neighbours have wailed and described the project as “excessive”, “disruptive” and “inappropriate”.
The only way Rove can come back from this is if he lets everyone in the suburb file into his yard to use his plunge pool one-by-one.
In a bizarre twist to this spate of celebrities-turned-developers, controversial My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans is also building a mega mansion in the seaside suburb of Malabar but the plans were paleo-certified so his neighbours aren’t so annoyed.
Still, Guy and Rove are in good company when it comes to making council-approved home improvements that fire up the neighbours so much they consider calling Tracy Grimshaw. MasterChef hothead George Calombaris made headlines in May when he installed a gym in his backyard that blocked out the sun and was labelled a “public toilet” by one disgruntled neighbour. Google the fun phrase “George Calombaris public toilet” to take the tour.
And when former beauty queen Jennifer Hawkins completed her multilayered glass pad in Avalon last year, a neighbour who lives across the water was particularly miffed and took to Facebook to angrily type that the model has “more cash than panache” or as we say more dollars than sense.
Ah to be a celebrity, to constantly feel the need to outdo and show off. Perhaps we need to remind them that you don’t want to reside in a neighbour where your new neighbour from hell status outshines your fleeting fame.
Don’t forget if you need easy to understand info on how to deal with your neighbour from hell, check out all our wonderful free information HERE.