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Newport wealth manager blew up at Neighbours actor Lochie Daddo after palm tree cut off view

A ‘hedge’ that blocked less than 15 percent of a neighbor’s expansive ocean view is behind an ugly brawl involving a TV star in one of Sydney’s fanciest suburbs.

Private wealth manager Stuart Holdsworth is suing his neighbor, actor Lachlan “Lochie” Daddo, over three palm trees he believes were obstructing the view of the beach from his $3.8 million home in Newport, Sydney’s northern beaches.

Photos submitted to the Land and Environment Court appeared to show that the Holdsworths’ commanding views were significantly limited by the trees.

But Mr Daddo, who starred in Neighbors and the popular travel show Getaway, claimed the photos were zoomed to a “relatively distant” corner of the frame in an attempt to exaggerate the portion of view blocked by the trees.

An independent photo of the same area shows that only part of the entire view has actually been affected.

Private wealth manager Stuart Holdsworth has sued his neighbor, actor Lachlan Daddo, over three palm trees he says were blocking the view of the beach from his $3.8 million home (pictured)

Private wealth manager Stuart Holdsworth has sued his neighbor, actor Lachlan Daddo, over three palm trees he says were blocking the view of the beach from his $3.8 million home (pictured)

The 'hedge' that split neighbors in one of Sydney's fanciest suburbs blocks only less than 15 percent of a 150-degree ocean view

The ‘hedge’ that split neighbors in one of Sydney’s fanciest suburbs blocks only less than 15 percent of a 150-degree ocean view

Lachlan Daddo (right), who starred in 'Neighbours', and his partner Karina (left) were taken to Land and Environment Court by their neighbors Stuart and Leanne Holdsworth

Lachlan Daddo (right), who starred in ‘Neighbours’, and his partner Karina (left) were taken to Land and Environment Court by their neighbors Stuart and Leanne Holdsworth

Mr Holdsworth was asked to provide a diagram showing what part of his view had been compromised from his living room and adjoining balcony.

He identified less than 15 percent of his entire view, including sweeping views of the Northern Beaches hinterland and Newport’s surf spot.

He and his wife Leanne were given a quick dressing up by Acting Commissioner John Douglas, who said the case was “doomed to failure” and accused the pair of “wasting their neighbours’ time.”

“Mr and Mrs Holdsworth showed an unusual sense of entitlement to force their neighbors to prune their trees, apparently based on a vague notion that it was ‘unneighbourly’ for them to do anything else,” said Mr Douglas.

The largest of the three palms, standing about 40 feet (12 meters) high, was planted at least 20 years ago and before the Holdsworths bought the house in 2005.

Mr Holdsworth also has wonderful hinterland views of the Northern Beaches and Newport from the master bedroom (pictured)

Mr Holdsworth also has wonderful hinterland views of the Northern Beaches and Newport from the master bedroom (pictured)

Mr Holdsworth was asked to provide a diagram showing which part of his view was affected from his living room (pictured) and adjacent balcony

Mr Holdsworth was asked to provide a diagram showing which part of his view was affected from his living room (pictured) and adjacent balcony

The Daddos moved into the three-bedroom house in 2010 – five years after Mr and Mrs Holdsworth bought the sprawling property behind it (pictured)

The Daddos moved into the three-bedroom house in 2010 – five years after Mr and Mrs Holdsworth bought the sprawling property behind it (pictured)

The other two trees are considerably smaller at about five meters in height and are in a garden bed at the back of Mr Daddo’s property.

The Daddos moved into the three-bedroom house in 2010 – five years after Mr and Mrs Holdsworth bought the sprawling property behind it.

Both houses are separated by a public street, but the trees are supposed to be on ‘adjacent land’.

The four-bedroom, three-bath, two-story home owned by the Holdsworths sits atop a small hill, offering a larger vantage point from their primary living area and master bedroom.

As an avid surfer, Mr Holdsworth told the court he always enjoyed watching the swell at Newport and the Peak in particular.

The Holdsworths complained that three Bangalow Palms had formed 'a hedge' on the Newport property, on Sydney's northern beaches, blocking 'iconic views of Newport Beach and Peak surf break' (pictured, its neighbor, actor Lochie Daddo)

The Holdsworths complained that three Bangalow Palms had formed ‘a hedge’ on the Newport property, on Sydney’s northern beaches, blocking ‘iconic views of Newport Beach and Peak surf break’ (pictured, its neighbor, actor Lochie Daddo)

He first objected in 2016 to trees blocking his view and expressed concern to Mr. Daddo, who agreed to prune his macadamia tree to fix the problem.

Mr Daddo did so twice in 2016 and again in 2021, but resisted multiple requests to do the same with his beloved palms.

Several houses in the street have palm trees on their properties, including Mr Holdsworth’s.

In fact, Mr. Holdsworth’s house has half a dozen palm trees in the front yard that tower above the second floor of his house.

He tried to argue in court that the three trees in Mr Daddo’s yard “illegally formed a hedge”, but acting Commissioner Douglas said this was implausible.

Since the first tree had been planted 20 years earlier than the other two, the court ruled that Mr Holdsworth could not claim that they had been planted for the sole purpose of forming a hedge.

Mr Daddo took on a more serious role when he starred as Stephen Gottlieb in 'Neighbours' in the same decade (pictured)

Mr Daddo took on a more serious role when he starred as Stephen Gottlieb in ‘Neighbours’ in the same decade (pictured)

Although Mr Daddo has admitted that he likes the privacy of the plants, they are spaced apart and were probably marketed as ‘a supply plant, not as a hedge, nor as part of a hedge’.

“Mr and Mrs Holdsworth were unprepared to pursue their claim and appeared completely unfamiliar with the requirements of the law,” Acting Commissioner Douglas noted.

“Had they been more conscientious, they might have understood that their business was doomed, so they wouldn’t have wasted time on their neighbors.”

Mr Daddo made his television debut as the host of ABC’s ‘Countdown Revolution’ in the early 1990s.

He took on a more serious role when he starred as Stephen Gottlieb in Neighbors in the same decade.

The actor then hosted the popular travel show Getaway in the mid-1990s and now works as a real estate agent on the Northern Beaches.

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