Neighbors fear the historic Sydney mansion is becoming a noisy party venue

According to the planning documents, a maximum of three events lasting up to three days could also be held per year. “The number and type of events proposed under this DA are consistent with the types of events traditionally held at Swifts.”

One of Sydney’s most notable historic mansions, Swifts was built in 1882 by the Tooth family. The Moran family acquired the property in 1997 and Shane Moran’s company Masolage Holdings became the owner of the property in 2012.

One of Sydney's most notable mansions, Swifts has hosted major social events since 1885.

One of Sydney’s most notable mansions, Swifts has hosted major social events since 1885.Recognition:Louie Douvis

The DAs note that Swifts has hosted significant social events in its ballroom, dining room, terraces and extensive gardens since 1885, when the Tooth family threw a grand ball that was reputedly attended by the “who’s who of Sydney society”. .

Past events include a Underbelly Razordinner party in 2011, the Sydney Children’s Hospital Silver Party in 2019 and last year’s Friends of Wolper Jewish Hospital fundraiser with former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The prosecutor also notes that nearby McKell Park is rented out for weddings and other private events, while Lindesay House, a National Trust-run waterfront mansion, has planning permission for events.


The council has received more than 150 submissions on the DAs, which have been evaluated by council staff, a spokesman said. “The council will submit a recommendation on the DAs to the Woollahra Local Planning Committee, which will make a decision at a date to be confirmed.”

The Darling Point Society, on behalf of affected residents, has objected to the suggestion that events at the mansion will cause disruption in the form of flashing lights, fireworks, loud music and traffic congestion.

Society President Charlotte Feldman said the event schedules did not take into account the historical value of the swifts and should be “seriously changed” with a reduction in the maximum number of events allowed.

“I’ve had complaints from residents accusing intoxicated guests of being sick and urinating on their vehicles and sometimes kicking them when they leave the party,” she said.

“I believe that more popular events should be held in the villa, such as tours of the house, art exhibitions, daily markets and so on.


“Down the road in historic Lindesay, due to disruption to neighboring residences, they have severe limitations on the functions they are allowed to perform.”

Feldman said parking is already difficult because few of the homes in Darling Point have parking, “so when Swifts have events, the problem gets a lot worse.”

The streets were clogged with trucks and vehicles when the mansion was being filmed, she said.

Woollahra Councilor Mark Silcocks said he had been contacted by local residents who feared events at the villa would cause noise and disruption at night.

Silcocks said the general consensus is that prosecutors would increase the number of events at Swifts and turn the historic mansion into a party venue.

“It’s moving from a local resident using their property for whatever they want within the law — much like someone who occasionally rents out their home for a movie shoot — to an ongoing commercial operation in the middle of a residential area,” he said.

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Joel McCord

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