According to the source, the network has quietly been acquiring a number of properties across a cul-de-sac in the affluent suburb of Hampton, which is a neighbouring suburb to this year’s site in Brighton.
It’s claimed that homeowners in Bronte Court have been offered too-good-to-refuse amounts to sell their homes to the show. Similar to this season, the plan is to renovate five properties on the same street.
However, unlike this year’s build, which saw empty pre-existing homes from different eras relocated side-by-side on an empty site, the condition for the sale of the Hampton properties is that current homeowners must serve eviction notices to “their long-standing tenants”.
“One family [have been] told they have until the end of November to find somewhere new to live, after almost two decades on the street,” the source reveals.
“Several of their neighbours [also] had to vacate during Victoria’s recent lockdown.”
Another hitch is that although the five houses are all on the same street, they aren’t adjacent properties.
“For the first time ever, some residents will be forced to endure construction and television production on both sides of their homes, as they sit in between the show’s five vast renovation projects,” says the source.
The insider also spoke with an angry neighbour, who claims The Block production team are already making their life difficult.
“The only thing we have heard is that the producers don’t want people here, and they want people to move out,” said the anonymous resident.
“They’ve made announcements that this is about celebrating community, but they don’t want the community there.”
Production for the new season is set to commence in the near future, and the street’s few remaining residents fear their tiny cul-de-sac is about to be overtaken by film crews and construction vehicles.
“I’m very unhappy they’re doing those renovations on this unsuitable street,” said another anonymous local.
“It’s not really big enough to cope with all the traffic and the disruption,” they added.
But in a surprising twist, the source revealed that one of the five properties acquired previously belonged to The Block’s resident buyer advocate, Nicole Jacobs.
Nicole, who is often seen at auction day bidding on behalf of her wealthy clients, revealed on social media last year that she’d purchased the house designed by late famed architect Neil Clerehan.
“When we saw an iconic modernist treasure such as this listed as land for sale with no heritage protection, we knew we had to be involved,” Nicole wrote on her Facebook page, claiming that her intention was to ultimately prevent it from being “bulldozed” like other Neil Clerehan houses.
Meanwhile, another of the properties, 10 Bronte Court, also has heritage significance, as it was originally a ‘Small Homes Service’ house, established in 1947.
This heritage factor harps back to local resident’s concerns that their street is under threat by the show.
“Nobody has come to do any community stakeholder engagement,” said an anonymous resident. “[We’re] unhappy with the council letting it go ahead.”
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