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Council has successfully prosecuted the owner of 208 Barkers Road, Hawthorn, for demolishing a house in a Heritage Overlay without a planning permit.

In October 2017, Mr Shimen Gurevich and his construction company, Serious Developments Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to multiple charges under the Planning and Environment Act and the Sentencing Act for failing to obtain the appropriate planning approvals.

The presiding Magistrate ordered the accused and his company to pay $59,352 in penalties for their illegal action.

In May 2016, Mr Gurevich and Serious Developments Pty Ltd had been found guilty of partially demolishing the house. Serious Developments Pty Ltd was fined a total of $7252 and Mr Gurevich was placed on good behaviour bond for 12 months.

Mayor of Boroondara, Councillor Phillip Healey, said that Council takes breaches of the Planning and Environment Act very seriously.

“As a registered builder, Mr Gurevich should be fully aware of his responsibilities under the Planning Act. He had already been prosecuted once for damaging the house, yet chose to illegally demolish it. His actions showed total disregard for the law and our City’s heritage, which is highly valued by our community,” Cr Healey said.

“In cases like this, we do not hesitate to pursue prosecution in the courts. We hope the Magistrate Court’s decision sends a strong message to those who think they can ignore planning laws.”

“Council is committed to protecting the City’s heritage. One of the ways we do this is to ensure planning permits are adhered to. We carried out 500 planning investigations last year,” Cr Healey said.

The demolished house was believed to have been constructed as early as 1869 and one was of the earliest houses in Hawthorn. Planning permission is required from Council to demolish, construct, alter or extend buildings and structures in a Heritage Overlay.

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