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Oswals' Perth Taj on Swan mansion tumbles

AAP logoAAP 3/10/2016 Rebecca Le May

Pankaj and Radhika Oswal's unfinished, derelict "Taj Mahal on the Swan" mansion in Perth's ritziest suburb is finally being demolished.

The $70 million property in affluent Peppermint Grove was intended to be Australia's most expensive and Mrs Oswal's "absolute fantasy" home.

It was to boast six bedrooms, a temple, observatory with revolving roof, and parking for 17 cars.

But the Indian couple abandoned the ambitious project in 2011, a year after their Burrup Fertilisers empire collapsed and they left Australia as the ANZ Bank called in more than $US500 million in loans.

The cost of razing the graffiti-daubed property is estimated to be $300,000 and will take three weeks to complete.

Peppermint Grove - the nation's smallest municipality covering just 1.5 square kilometres - fought to have the mansion removed because it attracted antisocial behaviour and was considered a dangerous structure.

Mrs Oswal fought back with an application to the State Administrative Tribunal to prevent the demolition, but that was dismissed in 2015.

For six years, trespassers threw parties on the site while videos of parkour and freerunning devotees showing off their stuff from inside the mansion were YouTube hits.

Dozens of neighbours gathered to watch and cheer as the first of the mansion's seven domes tumbled on Monday.

Shire president Rachel Thomas said she was delighted to see the end of the eyesore.

"We're very relieved that it's finally starting," Ms Thomas told AAP.

"It's a very big undertaking and is going to be disruptive in terms of truck movements and noise for the next three weeks, but I'm sure the neighbours will be happy to put up with that.

"They've had a pretty miserable couple of years with disturbances on the site."

Ms Thomas said the council was optimistic the Oswals would pay back the costs.

"We've had some discussions with the owners over the last couple of weeks and we think we're nearly there with an agreement.

"If there are difficulties, we will pursue reimbursement through the normal channels as a debt."

She said the shire had also recently reached an agreement with the couple about unpaid rates.

"They will be paid in full, including penalties, by the end of October."

Ms Thomas said the Oswals ended up wanting the demolition to go ahead, with the large block of land likely to be divided into six lots.

"They have commissioned someone to give them advice on the most profitable way to dispose of it," she said.

Youngsters Mitchell and Jack Johnston came to watch the spectacle on their school holidays after their father agreed to drive them the 25km from Canning Vale.

"We like watching stuff get destroyed," Jack told AAP.

The Oswals and the ANZ last month settled the couple's lawsuit over the sale of the Burrup business, bringing to an end one of the nation's biggest civil cases.

The settlement was confidential but is believed to total more than $200 million.

The couple had been seeking up to $2.5 billion.

The Oswals also settled with the Australian Taxation Office and immediately left Australia after a travel ban was lifted.

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