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$3k fine becomes $40k on appeal

16 March 2017

A Shanes Park developer has been fined $40,000 after he appealed against a $3,000 fine issued by Blacktown City Council for the illegal construction of a pizza restaurant.

Elias Soukkar was issued with a $3,000 penalty notice for the illegal construction of a pizza restaurant at 26 Stony Creek Rd, Shanes Park.

“Mr Soukkar carried out unauthorised extensions and fitout works to an existing building and intended to use it as either a restaurant or a general convenience store,” said the Mayor of Blacktown City, Stephen Bali.

“Not only were the works unauthorised, but the zoning for the land does not allow that kind of use.

“Our Council Officers made this very clear to him and, despite letters and verbal warnings, he went ahead with what he says was some $400,000 worth of construction and fitout works,” Mayor Bali said.

Council then issued him with a $3,000 penalty notice, which he chose to appeal and have the matter heard at Blacktown Local Court.

“The magistrate found that the structure should not have been built and that a strong warning should be sent to make sure proper approvals are sought and complied with,” Mayor Bali said.

Mr Soukkar represented himself in Blacktown Local Court and was fined $40,000.

“People thinking about undertaking illegal works without permission should take this as a clear warning the courts take a very dim view of people who don’t obey the law,” Mayor Bali said.

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