Legal action to rebuild and new planning controls have been levelled against the owners of Carlton’s Corkman Irish Pub after it was illegally demolished on October 15.
The Andrews Labor Government and the City of Melbourne have launched joint action in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to compel the site owners to rebuild the pub.
If VCAT rules in favour of the government and council, an enforcement order would require a rebuild in line with the design, scale and layout of the demolished building.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has also imposed a two-year design and development overlay on the site so planning controls on the corner of Leicester and Pelham streets maintain the size and scale of the original building.
Having the overlay in place will prevent the owner profiting from an uplift in value on the site as a result of knocking down the pub, which was under a council heritage overlay.
This overlay is in place for two years so the council has time to consider permanent controls and involve the community in decision-making.
The site owners are already under investigation from the Victorian Building Authority, the City of Melbourne’s Municipal Building Surveyor, the Environment Protection Authority, WorkCover and Heritage Victoria.
The VBA and council are looking at several breaches of the planning and building acts, such as building works without a permit, contravening a stop work order and building works without insurance.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“While these cowboy developers thumbed their noses at Victoria’s building and planning laws, we are sending a clear message that wilful and illegal destruction of our heritage will not be tolerated.”
“We are also looking at new fines for commercial heritage buildings so owners face tougher penalties for illegal demolition, fines need to be a deterrent, not the cost of doing business in Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle
“I don’t think anyone in Melbourne wants to see rogues benefit from the unlawful demolition of a heritage building and we all now need to work towards achieving the best outcome for the site.”
“We can’t get the original Carlton Inn back but we can support legal action to require restitution of the building and amendment of the planning scheme to put strict controls on any future development of the site.”