Successful prosecution of planning breach over contaminated land (media release)

Parties involved in an eight-storey apartment building development in Pentridge have been fined a total of $36,000 for a breach of a Council planning permit by commencing the development without the required Environmental Audit related to contaminated land.

Moreland City Council were successful at the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court in prosecuting the developer, builder, owner and Director of the apartment building being constructed at 11 Urquhart Street, Coburg.

Mayor of Merri-bek Cr Natalie Abboud said Council had extended its proactive planning enforcement program by increasing its capacity to monitor and, if required, enforce planning approvals.

“Council take a zero-tolerance approach to breaches on development sites that are potentially contaminated in the interests of our wider Merri-bek community,” Cr Abboud said.

“The development industry is on notice that if you breach contamination requirements, expect to find yourself in court.”

The builder, Verve Constructions Pty Ltd, the owner, CQ 39 Pty Ltd, the developer, Future Estate Group Pty Ltd and Director Mr Ben Anderson all pleaded guilty to breaching the planning permit by commencing development in January 2019 without the required Environmental Audit related to contaminated land.

An Environmental Audit report was finalised in February 2019.

In handing down its penalty, the Magistrate noted that failure to comply can lead to significant damage to community and land.