NOOSA – Papua New Guinea's sports and APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko and his wife Catherine are being frustrated by 178 pesky neighbours and the powerful city council in creating their dream estate in the Brisbane suburb of Brookfield.
The Tkatchenkos intend to build an ornate main dwelling, a three bedroom second dwelling, two pavilions, a large greenhouse, a big gym, an ornamental lake with two fountains, a 25 metre swimming pool, animal stables and a 30 aviary complex for 600 finches.
And now the saga of the property at 15 Upper Brookfield Road that they purchased for $1.77 million in 2015 has made it all the way to the courts.
The Tkatchenkos have lawyered up to fight for their rights as they struggle with Brisbane City Council over what to the naked eye is a lavish multi-million dollar transformation of the mini-estate.
The Brookfield property is a substantial 8.5 acres and supplements the Tkatchenko’s other $1.1m investment home in the prestigious Brisbane suburb of Fig Tree Pocket.
Journalist Robyn Ironside reported that “plans lodged with the council in 2016 proposed a 320sq m house almost 11m in height, 30 aviaries over 380sq m, plus a lake, fountain, pool and small animal stables.”
But the Tkatchenkos ran into trouble from their neighbours with 178 of them lodging objections in which they raised concerns about noise and odours from the aviaries and stables.
The buildings were also embarrassingly described as an “eyesore”, which would not have pleased the designers, local firm Argo Architects, Engineers and Master Planners.
“A seven-page submission from the community-based Rural Environment Planning Association said the scale of animal keeping was not consistent with a reasonable person’s definition of a hobby,” reported The Australian.
The plans were subsequently modified to reduce the number of aviaries from 30 to nine, but the council refused the development application anyway.
The eight grounds for refusal include lack of noise modelling, the height of the main building and the proposed use of animal keeping not having a direct relationship with the land.
Lawyers for the Tkatchenkos rejected the council’s reasoning in knocking back the development and the matter has now been kicked upstairs to the Planning and Environment Court.
Proceedings before the court are continuing.