A gazebo built in public space by a Manuka eatery was ordered to be removed within hours of being installed after residents complained to Territory and Municipal Services.
The owners of Urban Pantry were ordered to remove the structure on Tuesday afternoon after it was up for only six hours.
Urban Pantry co-owner Luke Jennings said the gazebo, which was installed over an area used by the restaurant for outdoor dining, had been completely removed.
“There is no gazebo. Everything’s been taken down,” he said.
The deputy chairperson of the Inner South Canberra Community Council, Anne Forrest, was one of the residents who contacted TAMS with concerns about the structure. She said there was no development application for the fixed gazebo, which had been cemented in place.
The structure had been built off Bougainville Street in an open courtyard, shared by numerous cafes and businesses, next to one of two public lawn areas.
Ms Forrest said it was important to retain public space in Manuka and maintain the beauty of the area.
“There are more than enough places for people to sit and eat and drink in Manuka now,” she said.
A Territory and Municipal Services spokeswoman said the cafe had began building a permanent undercover structure, including a roof intended to have lighting, heaters and drop down sides, to sit above an area it had been legally using for outdoor seating.
A resident had reported this was happening last week in an area nominated to the ACT Heritage Register.
"Territory and Municipal Services rangers investigated the matter to discover that no development approval had been granted for the work, however, by the time they attended the site, the pavement had been completely reinstated suggesting the work was no longer taking place. Since the café owners were overseas at the time, TAMS rangers decided to postpone any further action until they returned," she said.
But the resident called TAMS again on Tuesday saying work crews had returned to the site.
"Following this alert, TAMS rangers attended the café and issued the owner with a notice to stop work. The notice requests that all structures be removed within seven days," she said.
"If the café owner wishes to proceed with this work they must lodge a development application for consideration by the planning and land authority as well as apply for a licence under the Planning and Development Act."
The application will take that factors such as safety, public amenity and the "look and feel" of an area is considered.