Her kitchen is bright and spacious with streams of light bouncing off the granite counter top. Shadows are seen playing across the polished wooden floors. There is a click and she pours the jug of water. Snake like wisps of stem float up and disappear. She cradles her cup in her hands but doesn’t take a sip.
Bridget sits herself down on one of the neighbouring stools. At a glance you can see how the years have worn at her face, yet her pale blue eyes show how she has lived each day and the wisdom it has bought. She points to what she calls the ugly tree. It’s bare and looks gaunt against the vibrant red wall of her neighbour’s house. Various ornaments hang from its branches. Her neighbour hacks at it because the leaves blow in the wrong direction. It’s nearly dead.
“They’ve taken away every bit of garden. And yet this ugly tree that’s nearly dead the counsel said no you can’t remove it because the place would be devoid of trees.”
As the popularity of subdivision increases and the demand for land becomes a race for the highest bid, many voices like Bridget are being drowned out by big bucks and instant cash flow.
“This kind of development is short sighted,” she says, “they want to be they want to be in prime real estate so they can buy a well-positioned place in a good suburb and build rubbish.”
“In 20 years’ time the next generation of people moving into the street will just bulldoze everything because nothing has been built with any kind of consideration for the future. It’s just about making money right now.”
Bridget has been living in Surry Hills for over 25 years. But as time has progressed she has seen the popularity of her area and those around her fall to property developers who scramble for any available plot of land and then try to squeeze a two story apartment which seems to kiss the fence on all three sides.
“It’s purely about greed and maximum return,” she says.
She describes how many of the developers and properties going up within meters of her house are inconsiderate of their neighbours and community around them.
“Every time we are in the back garden we have people looking in and that’s an invasion of privacy,” She explains.
“They just stand out and destroy what’s all about them. That’s what I object too.”
But developers aren’t the only ones cashing in on these short sighted projects.
“They [the council] just re-zoned this to high density living,” She exclaims, “Which pretty much means that developers can come and do what they like and build three stories’ high and a bit further down they can build seven stories’ high.”
“They’re terrible, they’re cheap, they’re nasty, they’re not well planned and they’re tiny,” she says, “not one of those units I would put even my own child in.”