Man fined $175,000 for demolishing historic Shiel Homestead in Cowra.
Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph reports how the Cowra Council has successfully taken the owner of a historic house to the Land and Environment Court of NSW in response to its demolition without Council’s knowledge and without the owners having obtained development consent. At the time the owners were aware that council had plans to list the house.
Apparently Shiel had been purchased in 2011 for $6.9 million. The owners then lodged a development application to erect three sheds on the property before discussing plans to replace the house with a new one. In 2012 the council wrote a letter indicating that the house was to be listed in the LEP.
The owner claimed the demolition was committed as a result of extenuating circumstances, including the ill health of his wife. Thankfully this was not considered an ‘adequate excuse”. Please don’t buy historic homes if you plan on demolishing them.
It could have been worst for them, the maximum fine for this type of breach is $1.1 million. There are those who will argue that taking the owners to court is not a good use of council funds. We think it is essential!
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