Developers who illegally demolished an historic Melbourne pub say they will rebuild it.

The Victorian government and City of Melbourne launched action against the developers Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri after the 159-year-old Corkman Irish Pub in Carlton was knocked down without a permit 11 days ago.

The Age reports Mr Kutlesovski and Mr Shaqiri wrote a letter to the government late on Thursday afternoon saying they were sorry for knocking the historic building down without warning.

“We want to make absolutely clear that we will rebuild the building at our expense,” the pair reportedly said in their letter.

The developers say they ignored the rules because of a combination of “legal advice, engineering advice, weather forecast and injury litigation”.

They also conceded another project they had been involved with had a wall collapse that injured a pedestrian, the newspaper reports.

Earlier on Thursday, Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the government and council would demand the developers be forced to rebuild the pub.

He also put a planning control in place to stop anything over two storeys being built on the site for two years.

If the VCAT action goes ahead and the planning authority rules in favour of the government and council, an enforcement order would require the developers to rebuild the pub in line with the design, scale and layout of the demolished building.

The demolition of the pub and subsequent illegal asbestos removal has prompted investigations by state and local governments, the EPA, WorkSafe, Heritage Victoria, the Victorian Building Authority and construction union CFMEU.

  • Let's get one thing clear. Their 'apology' and apparent remorse comes only after the government announced legal action and the planning controls to ensure they couldn't benefit from this. Their excuse about injuries and the weather is pathetic. Imagine if anyone all developers just demolished things without a proper permit because the weatherman told them the weather is going to be good or bad. Pathetic.

    These people should be made to rebuild what they destroyed and to do it in a code compliant manner. An example must be made and should say to developers that if you participate in illegal construction work, you wear the cost.

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