CBD site of demolished cottages has been unlawfully used as a car park
A company headed by Adelaide’s notorious “carpark king” Damian Lester has been operating an open-air carpark, without approvals, on a CBD site where two historic cottages were demolished for an apartment development that was later abandoned.
The unlawful use of the Hutt St land has continued, despite warnings from Adelaide City Council.
The site on the corner of Hutt and Ifould streets was to be used for the $18 million, 41-apartment Opus development.
To make way for the construction, two 1880s bluestone cottages were razed, despite being in good condition.
In November, The Advertiser revealed that the Opus project had been shelved and Park Fast had lodged an application for a metered carpark, which will be assessed today.
A council spokeswoman said an enforcement notice was issued on January 24, directing the owner of the land, Proton Developments (SA), to “cease the unauthorised use and secure the land to prevent unauthorised use of operation”.
“This direction was to be complied with by COB 25 January 2019,” she said.
An inspection after that found the site was properly secured. But on Friday, it was “illegally occupied” again.
“The council will advise the owner that they have not complied with the direction in the notice and remind them of their obligation to prevent this breach from occurring,” the spokeswoman said.
The council will issue a fine of $750 to Proton Developments for the non-compliance.
However, the situation is likely to change today because the council’s assessment panel is set to give development approval for a private carpark.
The recommendation to the panel is to grant Park Fast a permit to operate a carpark for two years.
Company records show Park Fast’s sole shareholder, director and secretary is Damian Lester, once known as Adelaide’s “carpark king” for issuing bogus fines that mimicked official council ones.
A representative of Park Fast declined to comment on the application or the site.
Proton Developments director Dr Nikitas Vrodos said he was not well “informed” about the unauthorised carparking issue, as he had a project manager look after the site, but was aware of the assessment meeting today.
Councillor Alexander Hyde, who notified council staff of the unauthorised use, said: “If this ugly patch of asphalt is allowed to generate a revenue stream, it’ll sit like this for years. This behaviour needs to be stamped out.”