Neighbours in one of Brisbane’s trendiest suburbs are at war over purported fears that the construction of a new pool in a luxury house-flip project risks increasing flood damage to their surrounding properties.
The Courier Mail reports one long-time resident of the inner Brisbane street warned the pool may end up like another homeowner’s during a recent flood event: “filled … with faeces”.
Residents in the leafy suburb of New Farm have voiced their concerns to Brisbane City Council over the development, sending submissions opposing the development by professional house-flippers Becky and Francisco Smout.
They warn the couple’s plans for the Lower Bowen Tce home “will only create more flooding to this property and the neighbouring properties”.
“If you don’t believe me, ask the new property owner of 32 Mark Street New Farm who was flooded out from his pool only recently as February/March 2022,” one resident claimed in their submission.
The resident, who has lived in New Farm for 40 years, said the man’s pool overflowed during last year’s floods and he was unable to pump the water out because “the council drains were full”.
“And not to mention the overflowing sewer drains which filled their pool with faeces,” he added.
A handful of neighbours raised similar concerns over the increased risk of being “inundated with overflow”, as they have been on “many occasions after rainfall and major weather events”.
One submission said that water flows onto and pools on the site “each time it rains, not to mention material weather events which we have experienced in recent years”. Others said the water would flow into their yard “for days”.
They did acknowledge the development application included a Draft Flood Report, but said that report “does not address the site characteristics we have experienced and fails to consider the proposed works in their entirety”.
Adding to their flooding concerns were the Smouts’ plans to build a brick retaining wall that will “cause flood damage” to nearby properties and disrupt natural waterflows and “divert overland flows onto our property”.
“Photos 10 to 12 indicate the extent of flooding on the subject site that can occur during one off storm events (overland flow),” one submission read.
“After such events, water can remain on site for approximately three days if followed by sunny days, otherwise it can take approximately one week to dry out.”
The height of the new home – which would “tower above neighbouring properties” – was also a concern, with residents worried about privacy, noise, and the impact on sunlight and air circulation.
“The proposed works will exceed 9.5m which will tower above neighbouring properties and block sunlight and air circulation,” they wrote.
Another said the development would result in “less than optimal conditions for healthy living and enjoyment of residence”.
Property developers Francisco and Becky Smout have applied to Brisbane City Council for approval of their plan to partially demolish a 1930s home and build a new extension and pool in New Farm, one of Brisbane’s most flood prone suburbs.
They plan to build a luxury six bedroom, six bathroom architectural home with a separate parent’s retreat in the new rear wing, a butler’s pantry, outdoor room, media room and two office spaces, according to proposed plans on the council website.
Last year they paid $2.6 million for the house which had formerly been rented out as apartments.
The couple are co-directors of Smout Property, a boutique development company based in the inner city suburbs of Brisbane that promises to deliver “bespoke property” and “striking homes” to luxury house hunters.
“Smout Property acquires premium inner city blocks of land and houses suitable for renovation or demolition and creates design concepts to transform these into luxury residences,” the company website reads.
Their last new-build was Montrose on Massey in Ascot, which sold for $4,450,000, after more than 500 people inspected the property.
news.com.au approached Mrs Smout for comment.