Eleven months after developers illegally demolished the 159-year-old Corkman Irish Pub in Carlton, brick and bluestone covered in asbestos still remains on site.

The company responsible for the demolition, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd (owned by Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri) had been appealing a Melbourne City Council order to remove the asbestos, as well as reinforce one of the pub’s remaining walls. Earlier today the Building Appeals Board upheld the council order.

The wall and asbestos are of no immediate danger to members of the public outside of the demolition site.

After Shaqiri and Kutlesovski illegally levelled the building last October, public outrage led the Andrews government to introduce legislation that would provide greater protection for heritage buildings and steeper penalties (including up to five years in jail) for “cowboy developers” who disregard regulations.

The developers made a public apology at the time and committed to rebuild the pub in the same vein as the original building. But in February they reneged, 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”.

The pair are seeking to overturn laws put in place by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne, the Age reports. Should the pair win their challenge in the Supreme Court, they will be allowed to build a tower on the site where the pub once stood.

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