Celebrity chef George Calombaris has copped backlash for his wife’s decision to construct a backyard gym in their multimillion-dollar home.
Helen Elsworth, 71, said the Masterchef judge was “the worst neighbour I’ve had in my life” for building a self-contained gym centimetres from the fence line of his wife’s Toorak mansion in Melbourne.
Ms Elsworth “is upset about the look, mass, size, scale and structure” of the outdoor gym and believes the building permit was issued before the surveyor had “properly notified adjoining owners”, a spokesperson for Nevett Ford Lawyers in Melbourne told The New Daily.
As a result Ms Elsworth – who has never met Mr Calombaris and “doesn’t even know who he is” – claims she has lost her privacy.
“Helen has a direct view line through to his living room. He has a direct view line through to her bedroom so they’ve both lost privacy,” the spokesperson said.
Ms Elsworth is seeking legal advice and will take further action if appropriate, the spokesperson said.
She has attempted to engage with Mr Calombaris and his wife but they have “never responded to any of the legal letters”.
“She would rather engage with her neighbours than have to involve lawyers.”
Trees were reportedly removed from Mr Calombaris’ garden to make way for the outdoor gym which Ms Elsworth has described as a “hideous black box” and an “eyesore”.
The Victorian Building Authority is investigating the issue, a spokesperson confirmed to The New Daily.
Mr Calombaris’ wife, Natalie Tricarico, said local council approved the development of the backyard gym in December last year.
“As the owner of the property I have undertaken minor works to my home and these have been done strictly in accordance with all permits and consents,” Ms Tricarico said in a statement.
“We have also continued to ensure our neighbours who share a land boundary with us were kept informed of the progress of the construction works – as we were required to do – and those neighbours have expressed no issue with the construction or the process that took place.”