From newsman to bluesman: What Phil Williams did next

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But back to the party held at Manly’s upmarket Herring Room. Attendees included young philanthropist Grace Forrest, KPMG NSW chair Doug Ferguson, NSW AFL boss Tiffany Robertson and Facebook marketing chief Alexandra Sloane.

PROPERTY GREEN (AND RED) LIGHTS

A massive property development wave continues to spread across the city but some homeowners are having more luck with council planners than others. Former coal miner Chris Ellis and Sydney Angels investor wife Sandrina Posterino have had a win, with Woollahra Council planners signing off on the pair’s ambitious proposal to consolidate two houses on the Camp Cove waterfront in a $7.5 million build. The pair already owned a bolt-hole in the sought-after Pacific Street when next door neighbour and Hong Kong press baron CK Ma put his home up for sale in mid-2019. The pair snapped it up for $16.8 million. A year later, they submitted plans for a sweeping redevelopment, proposing to convert the double block into a single three-storey mansion while retaining the bulk of the existing boatshed, including a scuba store – an important feature for Posterino who is a keen diver. The pair have proposed a four-bedroom home including a guest suite and a slew of other executive must-haves including “his” and “hers” studies, an art studio, a meditation room, and an aquarium off the dining room. Council planners gave the total reno the green light in late May. But Bellevue Hill homeowner Stacey Thorpe wasn’t so lucky. Woollahra planners have knocked back the family’s $700,000 plans to renovate the Beresford Road home and a proposal including landscaping, a new swimming pool and sauna/steam room in the rear yard. A speed hump rather than a stop sign, no doubt.

BANKERS AND THEIR BALCONIES

There’s also been a wave of renovations in what is fast emerging as Mosman’s investment banking and financial services pocket of Raglan Street. In April, CBD revealed Cerberus Capital managing director David McWilliam had proposed a $1 million renovation on his Raglan Street home, proposing to convert an existing garage to a studio and to replace the existing pool with “a new, larger” one. Last month and about 10 doors up, Greenstone general manager commercial Mark Rechner scored approval for his $2.5 million fixer-upper plan, which will demolish a part of the existing home and build a three-storey home with basement parking, a swimming pool and a new garden. But there’s been some negotiations with heavyweight neighbours to get the plans across the line. Notes submitted with the application to Mosman Council planners included an email from next-door neighbour Bill Bovingdon – who is Altius Asset Management’s chief investment officer – attesting to a conversation and an agreement with Rechner over the renovations. “Mark Rechner and I have met and agreed a compromise,” Bovingdon wrote in the email to council planners. “The balconies on the first floor off bedrooms will be no greater than 1.5 metres deep and we will add a privacy screen to the south facing end of the balcony off bedroom 3. Regards Bill Bovingdon.” An elegant solution if there ever was one.

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