Two shonky developers and their company faced 16 charges today (Friday) and up to $2 million in fines for demolishing a landmark, heritage Irish pub in Melbourne.
Melbourne City Council and the state’s building authority Victorian Building Authority (VBA), laid 16 charges in Melbourne Magistrates Court against the pair and their company for illegally demolishing the 159-year-old Corkman Irish pub in Carlton during October last year.
The council and the VBA spent three months investigating the illegal knock down, which was in a heritage overlay area, before laying charges against cowboy developers Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri and their company that owned the land, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd.
The two men, who bought the pub in 2015 for $4.76 million, were charged with demolishing the Leicester Street building without a permit; refusing to obey a stop work order; not giving the council 48 hours written notice of the demolition and doing the work outside permissible hours.
Mr Kutlesovski was also charged with being an unregistered demolisher.
Meanwhile, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd, was charged with allowing the demolition without a permit; failing to observe a stop building work order, contravening planning legislation, carrying out demolition work outside permitted hours and not giving the council 48 hours’ notice of demolition.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he hoped the charges against the developers would lead to the pub being rebuilt.
He told a media conference this afternoon: “These are very serious charges carrying very serious fines”.
“Everything from demolishing a building, to being without a permit, to failing to observe a stop work order, and everything in between.
“It’s not that we want to go into court to punish people as a consequence of what they have done, what we’d really like to see is The Corkman reinstated and that is possible.”
Waste from the site, including dangerous asbestos, was later found dumped on a site the two man own in Cairnlea. They were understood to be planning a 12-storey apartment block on the flattened site.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up to the Government News newsletter