PEPPERMINT Grove council is heading to the Supreme Court over a three-year stoush with a resident opposing local heritage listing of a $13 million home he sold to his holding company.
The argument centres on a Queen Anne-style bungalow on 3652sq m on The Esplanade on the Swan River that owner and Mosman Park resident Lyndon Brown bought in about 1998.
“He didn’t seem to have a problem at the time,” corporate services manager Paul Rawlings said at last week’s meeting.
Council said the bungalow was rare, built for leading members of WA society, contributed to heritage, was a landmark and had been associated with historic figures.
It was one of 165 properties originally placed on the council’s heritage list in 1999, before issues of potential battle axe blocks and subdivision became a recurring issue in the suburb.
Records show Mr Brown bought the property originally in 1995 for $4.85m, sold it to holding company Dain Pty Ltd for $6m in 2001 and it has been on the market since June 4, 2016.
In 2014, Mr Brown told council he wanted the category one listing removed, and made the request again in March this year.
However, councillors decided to keep it on the list when the requests were reconsidered in April and June.
In a March 23 letter to the council, Mr Brown said the council’s heritage criteria were “too sweeping” and the bungalow had been altered in 1927, 1967 and 1986.
Mr Brown said had it not been given category one protection it would have been sold three years ago “saving at least $450,000 in land tax”, and there had been two failed offers of $13m, including the most recent in February.
In August, his lawyers challenged the council’s reasons for not changing the heritage listing to a lesser category two, before starting legal proceedings in the Supreme Court.
Mr Rawlings said Mr Brown withdrew from a directions hearing at the court last Wednesday, and a date for the case to be was set for March 18 next year.