Dispute Erupts in Hamilton Hill Over Trophy Home Renovation

Hamilton Hill
Photo Credit: Google Maps

A significant dispute has erupted over a Hamilton Hill homeowner’s plans to modify their lavish trophy home’s glass balustrades, sparking fears among neighbours that these changes will render the residence overly imposing in an exclusive enclave.




At the centre of the controversy is a multimillion-dollar trophy home on Eldernell Terrace, where proposed alterations have led to objections from nearby residents. The issue arose over the homeowner’s plans to increase the structure’s size and replace certain architectural features, raising concerns about the building’s height and aesthetic impact on the area.

The contested property’s owners, Michael John Cleary and his wife Mary Jo, acquired the home for $7.3 million in 2023. Their renovation plans include removing some glass panels for fibre-cement sheeting, altering the glass balustrading to steel, and adding steel-framed awnings. 

Hamilton Hill
Photo Credit: Melanie Wing/ DA 10630479

These modifications, documented in council submissions, have sparked the current controversy due to concerns about the building’s increased bulk and visual dominance in the neighbourhood.

Two residents of Hamilton Hill, concerned about the potential effects of the proposed changes, have taken formal steps to halt the development.

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Liza Gay and her husband Geoff, prominent figures in event management and the audiovisual sector, submitted an objection to the local council via DA 10630479, approved on 26th March 2024. 


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​​ They argue that the alterations would significantly increase the building’s height beyond the acceptable limit of 9.5 meters, urging the council to issue a “stop work order” until the application undergoes due process.

“ As part of the original Development Application the Brisbane City Council sought changes to ensure glass balustrade was provided on balconies to reduce the overall height, bulk and scale of proposed development,” the couple stated it their submission.

“The current owner has totally ignored that ruling and has removed the balustrade to replace it with higher and opaque materials.

“As this work is in total contradiction to the Councils direction and does not align with the intent of the overarching purpose of the Zone code, we request the you place a ‘Stop work order’ on the property until the application goes through due process.”

Hamilton Hill
Photo Credit: DA 10630479

Adding to the Gays’ opposition, another neighbour, Melanie Wing, who co-owns a popular bar with her husband, has voiced her concerns. Wing, residing in a historical house nearby, criticises the development for potentially setting a worrisome precedent regarding building height in the area. She emphasises that the proposed changes would result in a building that is too large and imposing, negatively affecting the surrounding residential zone.



As the council considers the objections, the community awaits a decision that will not only affect the immediate neighbours but also set a tone for future developments in one of Brisbane’s most prestigious locales.

Published 28-March-2024