Peppermint Grove council shoot down Oswals development idea

UPDATE: The Oswals have denied owing unpaid rates or charges to the Shire of Peppermint Grove.

In a statement to the Western Suburbs Weekly, Mr and Mrs Oswal said there were no unpaid rates or charges.

They also said a timeline for demolition had been provided to the council, which knew of the decision to change security companies because it was a requirement to have the patrols at the mansion.

Asked about moving back to their Dalkeith home, Mr Oswal said he and his wife still considered “sunny Perth as the loudest part of the echoes of our time in Australia, and it would be wonderful to return home and be able to spend as much time as possible there, during our stay in Australia”.

Earlier, Peppermint Grove Council staff threw doubt on the Oswals’ reported idea to develop units on their riverside superblock that houses their unfinished Indian-style mansion.

“We wouldn’t support it, because the community has made it clear that the site should be developed for single houses to maintain the streetscape and atmosphere of the area,” development services manager Michael Whitbread said.

The controversial mansion’s site has remained unfinished, weed ridden and the target of vandals since the Oswals left Australia in 2011.

The couple are now on the east coast, before for a court case over Mrs Oswal’s alleged $190 million tax bill later this year.

Mr Whitbread said the mansion’s Bayview Terrace superblock of R10 comprised six blocks of 1000m2, but the Oswals had never contacted the council about the zoning before a new town planning scheme was agreed earlier this year.

Subdividing the site for luxury units would require its owner to apply to the council for a change.

“They wouldn’t get one, as it’s all single residential,” Mr Whitbread said.

The council also wants the Oswals to pay unpaid rates for the mansion, organise its demolition experts, and name a new security company supposed to patrol the site.

Corporate services manager Paul Rawlings said there had been no contact from the Oswals or their lawyers since a State Administrative Tribunal decision the mansion must be demolished by September.

Mr Rawlings said Mrs Oswal had still to provide a “definitive timeline” for the mansion’s demolition.

The Oswals are prohibited from leaving Australia because of the court case.

It is unknown if they will return to WA to resolve the issues with the council, or if they will live in their former Dalkeith home.

The Oswals’ Sydney and in-house lawyers have been contacted for comment.