‘Taj-on-Swan’ to be demolished

‘Taj-on-Swan’ to be demolished
The derelict home of former Perth businessman Pankaj Oswal and his wife Radhika, nicknamed ‘Taj on Swan’. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

The former Perth couple and the Shire of Peppermint Grove have reached an agreement for the property known as Taj-on-Swan to be demolished by September 30 next year.

The Shire had pushed for it to happen sooner but it is understood Mrs Oswal wants the demolition to happen in stages in the hope some materials can be salvaged.

Pankaj and Radhika Oswal. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian


As recently as March Mrs Oswal insisted through her lawyers the couple hoped to return to Perth and finish the building. Peppermint Grove residents have complained for years that the building is an eyesore and a magnet for illegal behaviour.

Orders were filed in the State Administrative Tribunal on Friday morning with the consent of both parties but the final demolition orders will not be signed for another week to give a related party time to respond. The case had been set for a full SAT hearing in December.

The demolition will be at Mrs Oswal’s expense.

The slice of Peppermint Grove real estate is understood to be worth between $20 and $25 million. It is zoned as R10, meaning it could be sub-divided into five or six lots.

However, it cannot be sold because of a freezing order that related to a legal battle between Mrs Oswal and the Australian Taxation Office.

It is unclear whether the Oswals would sell the land or retain it for redevelopment, depending on the outcome of the ATO legal dispute.

The Oswals have lived overseas since the high-profile collapse of Mr Oswal’s ammonia empire in 2010. Work on the mansion, estimated to fetch $70 million when completed, stopped about the same time.

Shire president Rachel Thomas said it was a “pleasing result”

“This property has seemingly been abandoned since December 2010 and a significant amount of anti-social and illegal behaviour has occurred at the site since that time,” she said.

“Although the owner has been requesting more time to resume and complete the building, the Shire has not been satisfied that there was a genuine desire and ability to do so in a reasonable period of time.

“The Shire considers the extension of time to demolish the building to be an acceptable compromise to avoid further legal proceedings and continuing uncertainty. Residents can now be confident that the property will be demolished next year and will no longer be a source of disruption to the community.”