Hopping mad today, when I read this article in TheAge..
A developer has destroyed a historic Collingwood facade despite a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal order protecting it.
Firstly, thank you Alana for bringing it to our attention.
Secondly, the developer should face this:
- A $1M fine for breaking the order
- A directive to rebuild the facade to ‘exactly’ as it was.
- Cancel any/all permits already submitted for the site and make the developer.. start again.
Stephen Jolly is 100% correct. If VCAT does not come down hard on this developer, they are opening the floodgates. Every developer will see the crack, and we will pay… big time!
Anger after historic facade demolished
By ALANA SCHETZER | TheAge
A developer faces legal action after a historic Collingwood facade was torn down despite a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal order protecting it.
Builders demolished the period facade and parapet in Johnston Street, which is in a heritage overlay , earlier this month.
VCAT issued a planning permit in March 2011 for partial demolition of the existing building and the construction of three apartments , five townhouses and a ground-floor office. Member Philip Martin ordered the facade be retained after Yarra City Council successfully argued that it retained ‘‘ important architectural details’ ’ and was one of several buildings in the area that was part of Collingwood’s Victorian and Edwardian history.
A council spokesman said the matter would go back to VCAT next month and an enforcement order to have the facade and parapet rebuilt will be sought. He said the planning breach was serious enough to warrant further legal action in the Magistrates Court, which is being considered.
The building in question, a former shop, is in a business zone that Mr Martin said is likely to undergo a period of ‘‘ positive regeneration’ ’ in the near future.
A separate planning application had been lodged before the demolition, seeking a variation to the permit to ‘rebuild the facade’ , but that VCAT hearing is not scheduled until January 11. A council officer said it appeared the developer had ‘‘ jumped the gun’’ .
Socialist councillor Stephen Jolly urged the council to ‘‘ come down like a ton of bricks’ ’ on the developer ina bid to stop other developers doing a similar thing.
‘‘ If you let one get away with it, then they all get away with it. The council must come down like a ton of bricks on any developer that thinks they can ignore planning laws,’’ he said. ‘‘ We’re not going to allow Yarra to be demolished.’’
Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents’ Association spokesman Fred Allen said he wasn’t aware of a similar breach occurring in a ‘‘ long time’ ’ and he hoped the council was successful in its case. ‘‘[ Planning ] controls are weak enough as they are without people doing something like this,’’ he said.
The building in Collingwood. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui