/Developer who illegally demolished heritage-listed house gets first approval for townhouses

Developer who illegally demolished heritage-listed house gets first approval for townhouses

Updated

May 14, 2019 07:48:21

A Hobart developer who illegally demolished his heritage-listed property to build townhouses has passed his first hurdle, after a council planning committee voted in favour of the Mt Stuart development.

The Hobart City Council Planning Committee last night voted three to two in favour of the development, which would see four townhouses built at 55 Mount Stuart Road in the Hobart suburb of Mt Stuart.

But the council has foreshadowed a review of fines for those who demolish heritage-listed buildings without permits, to make sure the deterrent is high enough in today’s market.

Developer Darko Krajinovic resubmitted his development application after withdrawing it last month when the planning committee recommended the development be refused.

In 2017, Mr Krajinovic was fined $225,000 and ordered to pay legal costs to the Hobart City Council for illegally demolishing his 1890s-era house without a permit.

Chair of the council’s planning committee Helen Burnet said small tweaks were made to the development’s design plans that saw it get over the line.

“The changes weren’t huge, but they were deemed to comply a lot better than before, so the change in plans do address those concerns,” she said.

“[There is] less overlooking in window areas, and more use of sunlight and private open spaces meant it better addressed issues since the last time it was raised at committee.”

The planning committee last month voted down the development due to concerns the townhouses would overshadow neighbouring properties, add to traffic congestion, and see bedrooms impacted by vehicle lights and street noise.

Mr Krajinovic’s representative told the committee meeting they were concerned that bias had impacted the last committee meeting’s decision but Councillor Burnet wholly rejected that.

“We make decisions based on the planning scheme rather than on bias — we have to leave that out of the room,” she said.

Council to lobby government to increase penalties

But Ms Burnet said given Mr Krajinovic had been so far successful in attempts to redevelop the 1,406-square-metre block, the deterrent for infringement was “not an effective one”.

She said the council planned to recommend the State Government review fines for the illegal demolition of a heritage-listed property without a permit.

“The level of the fine has eroded over time, and it’s not been nearly as strong as it’s been before, so it’s really up to the State Government to bring the level of the fine up to something that will act as a deterrent,” Ms Burnet said.

Ms Burnet said she thought fines should be consistent with those handed out under the Heritage Act.

“Perhaps [fines] should be in line with those given to buildings that are protected under the Heritage Act, which are 10 times the amount the developer at 55 Mt Stuart Road was fined,” she said.

The council’s planning committee will recommend the development for approval at next week’s full Hobart City Council meeting where the final decision will be made.

Topics:

local-government,

urban-development-and-planning,

community-and-society,

hobart-7000,

tas,

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First posted

May 14, 2019 07:08:04