The end of an error
SOME Peppermint Grove children called it “the big, bad dragon’s castle” but demolishers easily ended a six-year saga when they started to tear down the derelict $70 million Oswal mansion at 10.50am yesterday.
“It’s a relief, for the council and the residents,” Shire of Peppermint Grove President Rachel Thomas said.
“But the champagne will only be popped when it’s done and not at the beginning.”
The council is paying Capital Recycling $97,500 to bring down the concrete and brick seven-bedroom, 11-bathroom home on 6500sq m on Bay View Terrace over two to three weeks.
At the State Administrative Tribunal, the council successfully argued that the mansion was an eyesore and safety risk, attracting parkour thrillseekers, graffiti vandals and partygoers who risked falling down its staircase.
“It’s been a terrible experience for the neighbours who never knew if they would be disturbed by kids partying in the mansion in the middle of the night,” Mrs Thomas said.
A fortnight ago, former Pilbara fertiliser plant magnates Pankaj and Radhika Oswal, who are in talks with the Australian Tax Office over an alleged tax bill, left Australia after reaching a confidential settlement with
ANZ bank for a reported $200 million over the plant’s collapse.
Mrs Thomas said the couple was now taking advice on the best options to dispose of their three WA properties and the council assumed the mansion’s land would be sold.
The council is negotiating with the Oswals to pay the demolition’s cost, after a deed was obtained for $106,000 in outstanding rates by the end of this month.
The demolition attracted national coverage, and about 100 residents and on-lookers from across Perth. “I’m sure the neighbours are delighted to see it go as I know there’s been
a lot of vandalism and it’s become a bit of a white elephant,” Peppermint Grove resident Chantal Seagreen said.
The mansion is expected to produce about 3700 tonnes of building waste that will be recycled for roadbase and hardstands.
“It will be reasonably simple because it’s just concrete and brick,” Capital Recycling project manager Chris Farrar said.
Trucks will use a route from Stirling Highway, along Irvine Street, View Terrace, Keane Street, and out of the suburb on Bay View Terrace and Glyde Street, from 7am to 4pm.
Peppermint Grove Shire President Rachel Thomas speaks to the media (inset) as the demolition starts.