One of the two developers who demolished the Corkman Irish Pub in Carlton, Melbourne, has plead guilty to charges in relation to its illegal destruction.
Raman Shaqiri pleaded guilty to the Corkman’s illegal razing yesterday in Melbourne Magistrates Court. His company, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd also plead guilty to several charges related to the demolition.
However, Shaqiri’s business partner, Stefce Kutlesovski, has decided to fight the charges against him. Their two different pleas has complicated the matter, so the case has now been adjourned until January, when Kutlesovski will fight the charges.
The pair have come under immense scrutiny in the last 18 months, after purchasing the 140 year-old pub in Carlton and then razing the building without the proper permits to do so. Melbourne City Council issued the developers a Stop Work Order mid-demolition, but the razing was completed the next day. It has been alleged that the developers were planning on building a residential apartment complex on the site.
A week after the demolition, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) found that asbestos, among other debris, had been illegally removed from the Corkman site and dumped onto another site 20 km north-west of Carlton.
A total of 16 charges were laid against the two developers and their company, including demolishing without a building permit, failing to comply with an order to stop building work, carrying out demolition work while unregistered and contraventions of the planning legislation. The maximum penalites for each of these charges vary between $3100 and $388,000.
Shaqiri’s sentencing will not take place until after Kutlesovski’s defence case has been made in January.