$350m flat tuned out

$350m flat tuned out

A local council has rejected plans by a  multimillionaire radio station owner to create the UK’s most expensive flat in a luxury development near Harrod’s in central London.

Ashley Tabor, who owns Classic FM among other radio stations, applied to knock two properties in the luxury Knightsbridge Apartments together to create a 10- bedroom penthouse flat complete with a cinema, and a butler’s pantry.

The combination of two adjoining flats would have been worth around $350 million, but planning officials at Westminster council ruled last week that the loss of one flat in the amalgamation of two apartments would be contrary to its policy to increase, not decrease housing.

Eavesdropping not “OK Google”

Ever felt that someone – or something – was eavesdropping on your conversations?  Internet search giants and gadgeteers Google have acknowledged that some of their brand new web-connected speakers have been secretly listening to and recording everything their owners were saying.

Virtual personal assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo allow users to employ voice activation to play music, order pizzas or check on the weather. The gadgets are supposed to do what’s asked and then go back to sleep until next time.

However, last week a reviewer from website Android Police reported that his Home Mini was listening to him “24/7” and transmitted the recordings to Google which stored “pretty much everything going on around my Home Mini.”

The company subsequently acknowledged the problem and issued a fix, but claimed that the glitch affected a small number Google Home Minis models given out to journalists for review. The Google Minis pre-ordered by consumers are fine.

So, it was only devices given to journalists that recorded their every word?  Hmmm.

Beast of a block

It’s only a fairly modest 13-storey block but the 45m tower, at 666 (really!) Doncaster Rd in Manningham, north-east Melbourne, is the devil’s work according to locals whose views will be blocked.

All hell has broken out at the slightly shorter (42m) luxury Magnolia Apartments in nearby Hepburn Rd where 22 residents have objected, saying the former two-storey office block, which will grow to 161 apartments, a restaurant, and three shops, will block their views and increase traffic.

“I understand that people buy an apartment with a nice view,” said town planner and former councillor Stephen O’Brien. “But it’s not guaranteed forever and people need to understand that.”

Tower of power

After a hard day at work, there may be no putting their feet up for residents of a new building in Brisbane – unless it’s to tuck them behind their ears in the yoga room.

The 13-story fitness-focused boutique tower Lume planned for Kangaroo Point in 2019 will have an infinity-edge pool and state of the art gym, steam room and yoga zone.

“This environment has been built with other athletes in mind to take advantage of Brisbane’s exceptional outdoor lifestyle,” said a spokesperson for developer DevCorp.

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