Fortnight to sort mansion mess
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”.