Developer who razed protected home fined $52k

An Avondale Heights man has been charged $52,000 for demolishing a home in a unique Port Melbourne estate.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday fined 66-year old Hodo Zeqaj $45,000, plus $7,500 costs, for razing the 68-year old 25 Barak Road dwelling.

The residence is within a Fisherman’s Bend community built by the Housing Commission between 1939 and 1942 after a design competition.

City of Port Phillip prosecutor John Hoey said that as the quality of architectural and urban design was never repeated, the property and others in the estate had heritage, design and development protections.

He added it was difficult to imagine a more blatant and significant breach of the laws than to pull it down.

The neighbour pleaded with the demolition crew to stop but this was ignored according to The Age.

The structure was cleared in 15 minutes on Sunday June 29; two workers were a son and nephew of the owner, it is reported.

Defence lawyer Graeme Steart said his client planned a double storey townhouse for the site and decided it was better to “pull it down” and present “a nice clean site to work with”.

He added the owner was deeply sorry.

The court heard he paid $5,000 to a Sunshine demolition contractor for the work, believing that person would arrange demolition permits.

The client has since applied for a planning permit to reinstate the duplex at the front of the block which is attached to another home.

It will have a two storey rear wing though.

Coincidentally that application is also being appealed by the Barak Rd neighbour, this time at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of