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Thorns in the hedge: Murdochs get green light for $11.6m mansion expansion

Good fences make good neighbours but swimming pools are another matter entirely.

A Bellevue Hill neighbour of Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch's has declared they will get on famously - so long as they don't have to see each other - after the local council approved the couple's plans for an $11.6 million expansion of their stately manor.

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Murdochs win pool-room row

Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch win apprval for an $11.6 million renovation on their Sydney mansion, much to the annoyance of some neighbours.

As the Herald has reported, some neighbours objected that a proposed 25-metre pool and attached ''pool room'' at the rear of the Murdochs' $23 million Georgian mansion would infringe their privacy.

But Woollahra Council approved the plans on Monday on the condition the pool room be pushed back a further 1.5 metres from the rear boundary.

The council had wanted the pool set back a further two metres from the boundary but was swayed by a promise from the Murdochs of additional planter boxes to reduce its visual impact.

''The council is shit-scared of the Murdochs,'' was one local's response.


Another neighbour, Roy Jones, said he was unhappy the council ''reversed its first decision to locate the pool two metres further from the boundary''.

He is unlikely to welcome the couple with a chicken casserole.

''I am sure Mr and Mrs Murdoch will be excellent neighbours and we will get on very well by maintaining our huge hedges,'' he said.