Developers are facing huge potential fines for allegedly ignoring a heritage overlay and demolishing a 159-year-old pub in Melbourne.
Stefce Kutlesovski, Raman Shaqiri and the company that owns the site of 159-year-old Corkman Irish Pub in Carlton face a total of 16 charges after it was torn down in October.
Victorian Building Authority and the City of Melbourne, two of the agencies investigating the illegal demolition, filed the charges on Friday in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
The site’s owner, a company of which Mr Kutlesovski and Shaqiri are both directors, has been fined more than $31,000 by Environmental Protection Authority Victoria.
“Charges include demolishing without a building permit, failing to comply with order to stop building work, (and) carrying out demolition work while unregistered,” the agencies said in a statement on Friday.
Maximum penalties for the charges range from $3,100 to $388,650.
Rubble containing asbestos was also found at a vacant lot in Cairnlea soon after the demolition.
Mr Kutlesovski faces six charges, including holding himself out as a demolisher when he was not registered and carrying out a demolition outside hours.
Mr Shaqiri and 160 Leicester Pty Ltd each face five charges.
The matter will be first heard in court on April 13.
WorkSafe, Heritage Victoria and CFMEU also opened investigations after the 19th-century building was demolished.
The City of Melbourne says its officers issued a stop work order on the Saturday, only for the razing to continue on the Sunday.
The only wall left standing at the Corkman site was this month made safe after a council building surveyor issued an emergency order after finding loose bricks and roof sheeting.
The state government has ordered the developers to rebuild the pub, but they are fighting that order in a tribunal.