In October last year developers Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri demolished Carlton’s 159-year-old Corkman Irish Pub without a permit.
The public was outraged and the Andrews government introduced legislation to provide greater protection for heritage buildings and steeper penalties (including up to five years in jail) for “cowboy developers” who disregard regulations.
This morning, the Victorian Building Authority and Melbourne City Council have laid 16 charges against the pair and their company, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd., the Age reports.
The charges include permitting the demolition of a building without a permit, failing to comply with an order to stop building work and carrying out demolition outside permissible hours, among others.
There are six charges against Kutlesovski, five against Shaqiri and five against their company.
The largest maximum penalties (which have been brought against the company, not the individuals) – building without a permit and failing to comply with an order to stop building work – are $388,650 per offence.
The developers were forced to make a public apology after news broke of the demolition, and committed to rebuilding the pub in the same vein as the original building.
Earlier this month, they reneged on that promise, protesting the government’s reconstruction order on the grounds that it was “vague and imprecise” and that “heritage values of the former Corkman Hotel do not merit the restoration of the building, or in the alternative, only merit the restoration of the facade of the building”.
Additional reporting by Casselly Main.