By Jarrod Burton
It’s been called a landmark and an eyesore but today the controversial, riverfront Taj on Swan mansion at Peppermint Grove came tumbling down.
The property is owned by Pankaj and Radhika Oswal, who abandoned construction on the building in 2010 after a court dispute with the ANZ bank involving their massive debts.
The Oswals later fled the country after allegations of unpaid taxes, leaving the property completely abandoned.
“The building was set to be demolished because the owner did not have a licence to build on the property and there was no reasonable belief that one would be obtained in the next three years,” said Paul Rawlings, CEO of the Peppermint Grove Shire.
Before the demolition the site was completely dilapidated, covered in overgrown shrubbery and with graffiti across many of the walls and roofs.
The debris gathered from the structure’s demolition will be recycled by Capital Recycling, to be reused in the construction of roads and car parks.
Some have questioned the mansion’s demolition saying the building could have been repurposed for other uses, but Mr. Rawlings denied that this would be possible.
“Mrs Oswal still owns the land, and the council currently has no plans for it,” Mr Rawlings said.