Fort­night to sort man­sion mess

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

A STATE Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal (SAT) di­rec­tions hear­ing has given lawyers two weeks to show how Rad­hika Oswal’s un­fin­ished Pep­per­mint Grove man­sion can be ren­o­vated and not de­mol­ished.

“I am go­ing to give you a long list of homework so we don’t waste 14 days,” SAT se­nior mem­ber Mau­rice Spil­lane told Mrs Oswal’s Perth lawyer Kelly Blatch­ford last Tues­day.

On May 15, Mrs Oswal, who lives over­seas, ap­pealed a Shire of Pep­per­mint Grove or­der that her $70 mil­lion man­sion, de­clared un­in­hab­it­able last De­cem­ber, be pulled down af­ter con­struc­tion stopped in 2011.

Man­sion neigh­bours sub­se­quently de­scribed the prop­erty as a “ghetto”, with tres­pass­ing, weeds and rub­bish on the block and graf­fiti on the build­ing’s roof domes, which was painted over last week.

Miss Blatch­ford, act­ing for hos­pi­talised lawyer Den­nis Skin­ner, said SAT’s for­mal no­tice of the hear­ing had ar­rived at her of­fice only the pre­vi­ous day, when Mr Skin­ner fell ill.

She said 14 more days were needed to get Mrs Oswal’s ad­vice on what the coun­cil re­quested.

The de­mo­li­tion or­der should be set aside to me­di­ate on man­sion ren­o­va­tions and re­pairs, but a fu­ture build­ing li­cence to com­plete the build­ing could be im­peded by covenants on the prop­erty.

Mr Spil­lane said he wanted to know how the covenants af­fected get­ting the li­cence and a com­plete de­scrip­tion of the pro­posed ren­o­va­tions by the next hear­ing on June 9.

He told coun­cil lawyer Digby Robin­son that he “didn’t get away scot-free ei­ther”, and asked for more in­for­ma­tion on why coun­cil­lors wanted the man­sion de­mol­ished.

Out­side the SAT, Mr Robin­son said he would get the coun­cil’s in­struc­tions about the me­di­a­tion of­fer but the claim of late no­ti­fi­ca­tion about the hear­ing had been taken “at face value”.

“What we want is a road map for the com­ple­tion of this mat­ter within a cred­i­ble time frame,” he said.

Mrs Oswal’s Syd­ney lawyer Re­bekah Giles said any sug­ges­tion that the graf­fiti re­moval was con­nected to the hear­ing was “ridicu­lous and plain wrong”.

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