City of Sydney Council says it won’t shy away from pursuing rogue builders in the courts after successfully prosecuting a second construction company in a year for bypassing development consent and conducting illegal work.
City of Sydney has been awarded $25,000 in costs from construction company Alpha Nobis, which was prosecuted for destroying irreplaceable historic features in a heritage listed building.
Alpha Nobis, which describes itself as “one of the most comprehensive and experienced property development companies in Australia”, admitted to carrying out works without development consent at the 131-year-old NSW Sports Club and was fined $55,000, City of Sydney says.
Comment has been sought from Alpha Nobis.
According to the State Heritage Inventory the buildings occupied by the Sports Club, which represent Victorian Free Classical style, have “high aesthetic significance as rare and outstanding examples of highly intact original commercial Victorian exteriors of high quality design”, noted for elaborate use of decoration.
Council says officers discovered unauthorised building works at the site during an inspection in 2016, including the removal of all original ceilings, skirting boards, cornices, and decorative plaster features and the replacement of timber floors with a concrete slab.
“Some important pieces of original fabric and evidence of traditional building techniques used by the original craftspeople have been lost forever,” Council said.
A year later council served a stop work order on the owner, IEA Investments, which appealed the order in the Land and Environment Court.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was important to take legal action when historic buildings were destroyed to warn developers that heritage protections have to be taken seriously.
“Buildings are given heritage listing to ensure they are protected and maintained for future generations,” she said.
It isn’t the first time City of Sydney has gone after builders doing the wrong thing. In March it prosecuted another building company for illegal building and demolition work at the Nags Head Hotel.
Arcon Australia was fined $13,500 and ordered the pay Council $5,275 in costs.
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