In May, three years after the unlawful demolition of the Corkman Irish Pub, it has been announced that an agreement has been reached between the developers, the State Government, and the City of Melbourne that could see a tower of up to 12-storeys built on the site, with no requirement to reconstruct the former pub.
The VCAT orders, which arise from an agreement by the parties reached in confidential mediation, require the site to be cleared and made available for use as an interim informal open space until a permit has been granted for a new development. A permit must be secured and development must have commenced by 30 June 2022 or the site owner will be required to rebuild the façade of the hotel. The current planning controls for the site allow for a 40m development with a street edge of up to 24 metres in height, with any part of the building above 24 metres set back 6m from the street.
This outcome follows a legal challenge to a Design and Development Overlay (DDO68) applied to the site soon after the demolition, requiring the restoration and reconstruction of a facsimile of the building as it stood prior to demolition, which was later repealed.
The National Trust is critical of this outcome and believes that further legislative reform to combat illegal demolition of heritage buildings is needed. Responding to the VCAT decision, CEO Simon Ambrose said “If this is the best we can do under our current laws, we need to change them.”
Read more via The Age here.
We will continue to provide updates on this issue, including opportunities for the community to comment on any future planning application.