New home gets the nod for old Taj site in Peppermint Grove

The Peppermint Grove block. Photo: Jon Bassett
The Peppermint Grove block. Photo: Jon Bassett

CLAIMS of another oversize home on the site of the demolished mansion dubbed Taj-on-the-Swan made Peppermint Grove Council order remeasuring of the 6500sq m block when the application got the nod last night.

“The Taj smashed us, and I don’t see how we can get natural justice given the speed this application is being pushed at,” affected Keane and View streets’ representative Robert Nichevich said.

Mr Nichevich said residents were only told of the proposed new building on February 4, its height was detrimental to views, and if it was approved residents’ only options would be “to accept it or litigate”, given there were no third-party appeals in WA.

Applicants John and Jocelyn Gillett propose a single two-storey home and pool house on the west half of the block, on which previously sat the unfinished mansion of Pankaj and Radhika Oswal before demolition in 2016.

A report said the council could exercise discretion over the Gillett’s roof exceeding the maximum 9m by 400mm, its walls being 1.85m greater than the 6m allowed and the 0.5698 plot ratio being 0.7 above the planning rules.

However, the report said there was merit in the design having larger than required setbacks, and both its scale and shallow-pitched roof reduced the impact on neighbours.

At issue was whether the site’s natural ground level, from which the building and roof heights were taken, had been measured correctly after the Oswal mansion’s landscaping and demolition allegedly significantly altered the slope.

After legal advice before the meeting, shire president Rachel Thomas said the council could not make “ad-hoc” changes to its Local Planning Scheme to restrict height at the Bayview Terrace site, and the roof’s height complied with the scheme.

Mrs Thomas said the council had considered the residents’ concerns and the average ground height – measured at the site’s four corners claimed to be 19m, 20.5m, 12.15m and 12.4m – would be resurveyed as a condition of the application’s approval.