Targeted

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AN outspoken critic of Vincent city council is having his premises investigated for illegal building works installed 20 years ago—more than a decade before he moved in.

Stuart Lofthouse, who operates Greens & Co on Oxford Street, is a regular and vocal attendee of council meetings. He claims council processes lack transparency and that the council often fails to follow its own processes.

He’s clashed with the council over draft concept images of Leederville which had showed his building bulldozed to make a laneway, he’s criticised an on-road cafe plan that favoured certain businesses, he’s taken aim at suspiciously spotty community consultation, and called out what he describes as favours for the nearby Leederville hotel.

targeted for “being outspoken”

Recently someone dobbed him into Vincent council over a couple of walls in the upper level of his cafe that were installed about 20 years ago without approval. Mr Lofthouse moved in seven years ago.

He says he’s being targeted for “being outspoken”.

He leases the building and suspects whomever dobbed him in was trying to cause friction with his landlord, to get him to move on.

Vincent acting CEO Mike Rootsey says the investigation stemmed from a written complaint and the works must comply with building code rules on “fire safety, structural integrity, access and egress etc”.

The council’s formally asked that the works be removed, or an occupancy permit submitted.

Mr Lofthouse is now working with a surveyor to see what rectifications need to be done.

He submitted a freedom of information request to find out who ratted: in response he received a heavily redacted letter with the sender’s identity blanked out.

“I have it under good authority that Stuart Lofthouse has made some renovations to the mezzanine levels at Greens and Co and is indeed living above that business,” the complainant had claimed. “Is it possible to have this investigated?”

The blanked out sections tell a tale of their own: The redacted boxes are in the exact same location as the signature, logos and contact information as emails from the Leederville hotel.

We called the pub’s general manager Jason Antczak to ask if he’d sent the email: “I have no comment on the matter I’m afraid,” he said.

by DAVID BELL

 

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