Demolition delayed

Latrobe City Council will hold off on its plans to demolish an unfinished service station in Traralgon South to allow for proceedings to be heard at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

A full VCAT hearing has been scheduled for this Friday following a further push by the property owner to complete the building.

The tribunal had previously ordered him to demolish the building by 7 December last year, with council seeking to reinforce this decision by resolving to tear down the structure itself if the owner did not.

But the owner did not demolish the building by the due date, instead lodging a further application to VCAT with a view to completing the project, telling The Express at the time, he now had a builder and the money to do so. The site, at the entrance to the Traralgon South township on Keith Morgan Drive, has a 30-year history of appeals and extensions since the original application to build a shop in 1984.

“Council has agreed to not undertake enforcement action until after a determination is made following (the) 5 February hearing,” Latrobe City chief executive Gary Van Driel said following a VCAT practice day hearing at the end of last week.

Attempts to contact the property owner for comment were unsuccessful.

He has previously told The Express he wants to finish the work he set out to do and he was confident the project could be completed in about eight months.