Man who built illegal pizza shop at Shanes Park sees fine rise by $37,000

Picture: Geoff Jones

Picture: Geoff Jones

Appealing a fine proved to be a recipe for disaster for man who built an illegal pizza shop in Shanes Park.

Developer Elias Soukkar was left crusty after seeing a fine from Blacktown Council rise by $37,000.

Mr Soukkar was issued with an initial $3000 fine by the council last year after he tried to open the restaurant on Stony Creek Road.

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali said Mr Soukkar spent about $400,000 extending an existing building, without permission from the council.

“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,” Cr Bali said.

“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.”

Mr Soukkar challenged the council over the fine, representing himself at Blacktown Local Court. 

But his case didn’t survive the heat of the courtroom, with a magistrate handing down a $40,000 fine.

“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,” Cr Bali said.

“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.”

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