Two prominent Australian businessman are heading to the High Court in a battle over five square metres of balcony in the Queensland holiday town of Noosa.
The Australian reports former Thiess CEO Martin Albrecht has been fighting fellow residents and John Mainwaring, architect of the Viridian Noosa Residences, since 2012 over combining two balconies into bigger one. Albrecht’s plan was rejected by the body corporate in 2012, and subsequently escalated in a series of legal battles, culminating in the Queensland’s Court of Appeal finding in his favour last year.
Among the five apartment owners objecting is Kjerulf Ainsworth, son of poker machine billionaire Len Ainsworth, who sought leave to take the matter to the High Court, which will have to decide whether the body corporate was “acting reasonably” in its original rejection.
Albrecht estimates the change would cost less than $20,000. He paid $1.5 million for his pad in 2005. The legal fees would now be enough to buy an apartment elsewhere.
Ainsworth is trying to sell his apartment but is up for the stoush as “a matter of principle”.
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