Viridian Noosa.
Viridian Noosa. Outrigger

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

A BATTLE for a balcony covering five metres of prime Noosa air space has cost hundreds of thousands of dollar and ended up in the High Court.

Former Thiess boss Martin Albrecht bought a luxury apartment at Noosa Head's award-winning Viridian complex in 2005 for $1.6 million.


Viridian Village.
Viridian Village. Tom Kanchanasinith

He wanted to consolidate two balconies off his unit, but the body corporate, including the complex architect John Mainwaring, said "no".

So Mr Albrecht took it to court.

And now, after several more court battles with different sides claiming a win and neither prepared to give up, it has ended up in the High Court in Canberra.

The matter was heard on August 29 and a decision is expected to be made in six to eight weeks.

Mr Mainwaring told the Daily the decision would be far-reaching.

"It extends to the whole idea of the body corporate and people's rights," he said.

Mr Mainwaring had no idea of the legal costs, but estimated it ran into "hundreds of thousands".

His appeal was being funded by the Ainsworth family, led by the son of pokie billionaire Len Ainsworth.

"We wouldn't be able to do this ourselves," Mr Mainwaring said.

"That is the crazy thing about all of this. Unless you have money you have to cop it on the chin."

He had his "fingers crossed" it would go in favour of the body corporate.

"The place was designed that way (the balconies) to stop noise going throughout the complex," he said.

"It was also designed like that so that people's privacy was preserved.

"This would destroy the design concept of the whole thing which was an award-winning project.

"He (Mr Albrecht) is hanging his hat on we were being unreasonable (in refusing the request).

"But being the author and living there, (the balcony) was designed purposefully like that to preserve the amenity.

"There has been no consideration of the other people in the community.

"He bought there knowing how it was, but he was trying to get the deck changed before we even changed the project.

"The whole thing has been a bloody mess for me for 13 years.

"If he gets it up he will build his deck and others can do as they want.

"He won't create noise because they are elderly, but what happens if it gets sold?

"The whole site is like a natural amphitheatre and is very sensitive to noise.

"This is an innovative eco-project set amongst forest."

Mr Albrecht declined the Daily's request for comment.

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