A former Australian TV star and his wife have won a bitter legal battle to keep three palm trees in the garden of their luxurious Sydney home after neighbors complained they were obstructing ocean views.
Lachlan and Karina Daddo were sued in NSW Land and Environment Court by neighbors Stuart and Leanne Holdsworth, who alleged the former Neighbors star and his wife formed a “hedge” on their Newport property.
Both couples appeared in court for a hearing in late May, where the Holdsworth told the court they had owned their property since 2005.
Mr. Holdsworth told the court that surfing was important to his family, but the “iconic views of Newport Beach and Peak surf break” were obscured by palm trees in the house across the road, owned by the Daddos.
He also claimed that the three palms formed the “hedge” and asked the former actor couple to “remove or prune” the palms and the Macadamia tree.
The court heard that a palm tree next to the front driveway was 10 to 12 meters high, while the two in the backyard were five meters high.
Mr. Daddo agreed to prune the macadamia tree at least twice in 2016 and 2021 to preserve Mr. Holdsworth but denied removing the palms.
The couple was therefore taken to court.
Camera IconLachlan Daddo now works in real estate. Credit: News Limited
In his verdict, Acting Commissioner John Douglas, an arborist himself, argued that the trees could not form a hedge because the front tree had been planted up to 20 years ago and away from the rear palms.
He thought the impediment was minor and condemned the Holdsworths for taking the case to court, saying it was “doomed to failure” and showing a sense of “justice”.
“Mr. and Mrs. Holdsworth was unprepared to pursue their claim and appeared completely unfamiliar with the requirements of the law,” Acting Commissioner Douglas said.
“Had they been more conscientious, they might have understood that their business was doomed to fail and thus not a waste of their neighbors’ 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.”
Camera IconLachlan Daddo spent much of the 1990s and early 2000s on Australian television, appearing in Neighbours. Credit: News Limited
Mr. Daddo spent much of the 1990s and early 2000s on Australian television along with two of his older brothers, Cameron and Andrew.
He made his debut on ABC’s “Countdown Revolution” before taking on a role on Neighbours.
Mr. Daddo hosted the popular travel show Getaway in the mid-1990s but now works as a real estate agent on Sydney’s northern beaches.
His wife, Karina Daddo, was also an actor and TV host.