Inside the battle between TV heartthrob Lochie Daddo and his ‘entitled’ wealth manager neighbour over a palm tree ‘hedge’ that blocked just 15 per cent of his sweeping ocean views
- Private wealth manager sued after 15 per cent of his $3.8m view was obstructed
- Stuart Holdsworth wanted actor Lachlan Daddo to remove or prune palm trees
- Court determined it was an unreasonable request which was ‘doomed to fail’
- He zoomed in on a photo to exaggerate the obstructed view, the court heard
- Holdsworth previously complained about a separate tree, which Daddo pruned
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A ‘hedge’ that blocked less than 15 per cent of a neighbour’s sweeping ocean view is behind an ugly row involving a TV star in one of Sydney‘s ritziest suburbs.
Private wealth manager Stuart Holdsworth took his neighbour, actor Lachlan ‘Lochie’ Daddo, to court over three palm trees which he claimed obstructed beach views from his $3.8million home in Newport, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Photographs tendered to the Land and Environment Court appeared to show the Holdsworths’ commanding views were significantly restricted by the trees.
But Mr Daddo, who starred on Neighbours and popular travel show Getaway, argued the photos were zoomed in to a ‘relatively distant’ corner of the frame in an attempt to overexaggerate the proportion of view blocked by the trees.
An independent photo of the same area shows just a sliver of the whole view is actually impacted.
Private wealth manager Stuart Holdsworth took his neighbour, actor Lachlan Daddo, to court over three palm trees which he claimed obstructed beach views from his $3.8million home (pictured)
The ‘hedge’ that sparked a rift between neighbours in one of Sydney’s ritziest suburbs only blocks less than 15 per cent of a 150 degree ocean view
Lachlan Daddo (right), who starred in ‘Neighbours’, and his partner Karina (left) were taken to the Land and Environment Court by their neighbours Stuart and Leanne Holdsworth
Mr Holdsworth was asked to provide a diagram indicating which section of his view had been impacted from his main living room and adjacent balcony.
He identified less than 15 per cent of his entire outlook, which includes sweeping views of the Northern Beaches hinterland and the Newport surf break.
He and his wife Leanne were given a swift dressing down by Acting Commissioner John Douglas, who said the case was ‘doomed to fail’ and accused the couple of ‘wasting their neighbours’ time’.
‘Mr and Mrs Holdsworth displayed an unusual sense of entitlement to compel their neighbours to prune their trees, apparently based on some nebulous notion that it was “unneighbourly” for them to do otherwise,’ Mr Douglas said.
The largest of the three palms, which stands at about 12m tall, was planted at least 20 years ago and before the Holdsworths purchased the home in 2005.
Mr Holdsworth also has sweeping views of the Northern Beaches hinterland and Newport from the main bedroom (pictured)
Mr Holdsworth was asked to provide a diagram indicating which section of his view had been impacted from his main living room (pictured) and adjacent balcony
The Daddos moved into the three-bedroom home in 2010 – five years after Mr and Mrs Holdsworth purchased the sprawling property behind (pictured)
The other two trees are significantly smaller at about five metres high, and are situated in a garden bed at the back of Mr Daddo’s property.
The Daddos moved into the three-bedroom home in 2010 – five years after Mr and Mrs Holdsworth purchased the sprawling property behind.
Both properties are separated by a public street, but the trees are considered to be sat on ‘adjoining land’.
The four-bed, three-bath, two-storey home owned by the Holdsworths is atop a slight hill, offering a greater vantage point from their primary living space and master bedroom.
As a keen surfer, Mr Holdsworth told the court he’s always enjoyed watching the swell at Newport and, in particular, the Peak.
The Holdsworths complained three Bangalow Palms had formed ‘a hedge’ on the Newport property, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, that blocked ‘iconic views to Newport Beach and Peak surf break’ (pictured, his neighbour, actor Lochie Daddo)
He first took issue with trees blocking his view in 2016 and expressed concerns to Mr Daddo, who agreed to prune his macadamia tree to help resolve the issue.
Mr Daddo did so twice in 2016 and again in 2021, but resisted multiple requests to do the same to his beloved palms.
Several houses in the street have palm trees on their properties, including Mr Holdsworth’s.
In fact, Mr Holdsworth’s home has half a dozen palm trees in the front yard which tower over the second level of his home.
He tried to argue in court that the three trees in Mr Daddo’s yard ‘formed a hedge’ illegally, but Acting Commissioner Douglas said this was implausible.
Given the first tree was planted up to 20 years before the other two, the court found Mr Holdsworth could not argue they were planted for the sole purpose of forming a hedge.
Mr Daddo took on a more serious role when he starred as Stephen Gottlieb on ‘Neighbours’ in the same decade (pictured)
While Mr Daddo has acknowledged that he likes the privacy afforded by the plants, they are spaced apart and were likely marketed as ‘an amenity plant, not as a hedge, nor a component of a hedge’.
‘Mr and Mrs Holdsworth were unprepared to prosecute their claim and appeared entirely unfamiliar with the requirements of the Act,’ Acting Commissioner Douglas noted.
‘Had they been more conscientious, they may have appreciated that their case was doomed to fail, and thus not wasted their neighbours’ time.’
Mr Daddo made his debut on television as a presenter on ABC’s ‘Countdown Revolution’ in the early 1990s.
He took on a more serious role when he starred as Stephen Gottlieb on Neighbours in the same decade.
The actor then hosted popular travel show Getaway in the mid 1990s and now works as a real estate agent on the Northern Beaches.