Jamie Durie, among other things, fire about plans to turn a house on the water into a six-storey ‘monstrous’
Jamie Durie’s dreams of tearing down a 1960s cottage and native trees to build a sprawling waterfront mansion for his family were met with a major setback.
The famous garden guru and former host of Backyard Blitz has faced resistance over plans to transform his waterfront lot at Avalon Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches by knocking down the original house and building a six-storey “family home” worth $ 3 million.
Durie’s development application included a proposal to remove 17 native trees, sparking a series of community objections to the council.
The well-known name spent Monday in full damage control, defending his plans in several television interviews, claiming that an arborist’s report missing from the filing with the municipality led to a misunderstanding.
But the fallout from the saga continues to rage and Northern Beaches Council is now reviewing its prosecutor, recommending Durie change the design of his proposed home to protect more trees.
Jamie Durie (pictured with fiancé Ameka) has been tasked with revising the design of his proposed new home
The council has reportedly issued a ‘landscape referral response’ asking Durie to submit an alternative layout and building design.
The council report recommends that 13 of the 26 trees remain, including six that are of ‘moderate value’.
Five she oaks are ‘low value’ while three privet trees and a sweet pittosporum have been given the green light for clearance.
The DA is referred to the Spatial Planning Office.
“The Council considers issues raised in public submissions related to development applications in its assessment of each case and advice from specialist officials is sought as part of the assessment process,” said Ray Brownlee, Board Chairman of the Council, in a statement. to Daily Mail Australia.
‘This DA will be referred to the LPP for approval once the assessment of the application has been completed.
“At this stage, we don’t have a time frame for it to go to the LPP.”
Durie’s six-storey proposal consists of six bedrooms, a swimming pool, a two-car garage, a music studio and media room, an elevator to the children’s play area and a yoga gym.
BEFORE: Jamie Durie hopes to tear down original 1960s cottage (pictured) to build a six-story dream home
…NA: Jamie Durie’s plans to redevelop his beachfront property into this sprawling multi-storey facility provoked more than 30 community objections
Durie claims those opposed to the proposal failed to read a arborist’s report that was missing from the council’s submission, stating that the number of trees to be removed had been reduced from 17 to nine.
The report was added to the online DA on the council’s website Monday, along with Durie’s submission of the revised plans.
He has promised to review redevelopment plans but says some of the unhealthy trees on the property will have to be cut down due to the termite infestation.
“There’s a group of new environmentalists standing in front of the house to protect harmful weeds,” Durie told the paper. A current matter.
“I was mortified when I read some of the entries.”
“I think if some of the new environmentalists who were on the street, er, knew that they were really standing here to prevent the removal of environmental weeds that had now turned into trees, they’d be a little embarrassed.”
The former Manpower stripper, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said he wants the community to be as proud of the redeveloped home as he will be.
The council received more than 30 objections to the proposal, with residents voicing concerns that the development will set a precedent whereby most native trees in the area will be phased out.
Northern Beaches Council has recommended the garden guru to amend the proposal to preserve some of the native trees earmarked for demolition
Durie proposes tearing down the dilapidated existing cottage on the block he bought five years ago for $2.3 million
“We will end up like the eastern suburbs with mini-RSLs everywhere and concrete everywhere,” resident Miranda Korzy told the program.
“I don’t want to set an example for Jamie Durie… I think people are, because they come in, they don’t know what the area used to be like, they don’t realize how much we’re losing.”
Kylie Hebts, who lives across the street from Durie’s property, said, “It’s a bit LA and Double Bay combined to be honest.
“The thought of so many trees coming out really feels like we have to plan a funeral.”
Earlier on Monday, Durie described the saga as an “unfortunate series of events” and has sent letters to neighbors to clarify the situation.
“People assumed I’m removing a lot of native trees, while some of them are weeds,” he told Today Extra.
Jamie Durie proposes cutting down nine native trees on his property (pictured Monday)
Miranda Korzy is one of dozens of local residents who have objected to the proposal
“They’re actually noxious weeds, it’s privet, some are termite infested, some have bora, some are dying.
“If you read the tree report, you understand that some of these trees were actually marked for removal without our house being built.”
He added that 1,518 native and endemic species have been planted on and around the property.
“We have fixed the problem and I have sent a letter to all the neighbors and the council explaining what is happening and hopefully they will see what our new plans are,” said Durie.
‘I hear them loud and clear and don’t worry, we’re going to plant plenty in the ground.’
BEFORE: This is the old cottage in Avalon that Durie wants to demolish to build a sprawling $3 million “family home”…
Neighbor John Sheehan, a former acting judge of the Land and Environment Court, described the proposal as “fatally flawed” and is concerned it would have “serious and irreversible impacts on biodiversity values.”
Another neighbor said the proposed property was inconsistent with the neighboring properties respecting the topography and vegetation of their sites.
‘It is a gross overdevelopment at this location given the character of the area and the adjacent buildings’, according to their entry.
“It needs to be redesigned by an architect to reduce the coverage of the site, retain all the major trees, retreat from the waterfront to stay well within the waterfront building line and reduce its excessive size.”
Another expressed serious concern that the development will set an alarming precedent for future development in the area, if approved.
Local heritage and conservation authorities also objected to the development, fearing it would not suit the area, its wildlife and ‘overwhelm his environmentally sensitive bloc’.
Pittwater Natural Heritage Association said the proposal would adversely affect the movement of wildlife in the area and not reflect the area’s ecological and aesthetic values.
“The Council should consider the cumulative effect that developments such as these would have on the trees critical to the character of the Avalon area,” their submission said.
“As these and other such developments continue, in time the canopy that gives Avalon its character will disappear.”
The Avalon Preservation Association added: ‘The current trend of presenting very large dwellings on ecologically vulnerable blocks and consequently destroying much of the native vegetation on the block, while a small effect taken separately, ‘death by a thousand cuts’ ‘ means when it is considered the new norm.’
Locals say Jamie Durie’s proposal (pictured with fiancé Ameka) is flawed and doesn’t suit the area
Durie has since filed a revised development application for the block, which he bought five years ago for $2.3 million, which includes removing just nine trees.
“After thorough consideration of your comments, we have decided to adjust our current DA as we are flexible in our approach,” the horticulturist wrote.
‘The changes to the design reduce the footprint and preserve additional native trees.’
Durie and fiancé Ameka Foster welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Beau, in July.
He has another daughter Taylor, 26, from a previous relationship.
Famed gardener and National Tree Day ambassador Jamie Durie (pictured) has reviewed tree removal plans in the development application