Bangkok Metropolitan Administration under fire over already finished 6-billion-baht Ashton Asoke condominium project long legal dispute

Construction News

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration under fire over already finished 6-billion-baht Ashton Asoke condominium project long legal dispute

Court rules against B6bn condo project

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt is under increasing pressure to take action in response to Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court, which invalidated the construction permit granted to the already finished 6-billion-baht Ashton Asoke condominium project in Watthana district of Bangkok after a long legal dispute.

About 580 people who had purchased a unit at this luxury 50-storey condominium project, which has 783 units, are now being affected by the court’s ruling.

Activist Srisuwan Janya, who is also president of the Stop Global Warming Association, and who has led a group of residents of a community living near the residential project in a fight against it, said on Friday he will next petition Mr Chadchart to promptly set up a panel to probe all officials at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) who share responsibility in approving the now invalid construction permit granted to the developer Ananda Development Plc.

These BMA officials will have to be held responsible for their roles in the approval of the illegitimate permit, he said.

Thursday’s ruling has sent shockwaves through the real estate sector as at least 13 more residential projects and more than 100 shopping mall projects are using state land in a similar manner as Ashton Asoke did, and they now risk facing similar legal action as well, said the source.

Starting in 2016, the association, together with 15 people living in the Sukhumvit 19 Yaek 2 community, filed an administrative suit against the Watthana district office chief and four other district officials over their approval of the construction permit for this project.

More officials at the building control division of the BMA’s Department of Public Works, as well as some officials at the Traffic and Transport Department of the BMA, should also be held responsible for this mistake, he said.

According to Thursday’s ruling, the construction permit was unlawful because the high-rise project lacks a proper entrance.

Under the building control law, this is required to be at least 12 metres wide and connected with a public road for safety reasons, such as in the event of a fire.

The permission that was granted to the project in an agreement signed between the developer and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to allow a part of the MRTA’s land to be used as the project’s entrance was also unlawful, according to the same ruling.

Following the ruling, Ananda insisted in a statement that it had fully complied with the law when applying for the construction permit, which was granted on Nov 17, 2017, to Ananda MF Asia Asoke Co, Ananda’s joint venture operating the Ashton Asoke project.

The project was granted with permission by up to eight state agencies as required before the construction could begin, said the company.

“If Mr Chadchart fails to take action immediately, myself and the other affected parties will petition the Anti-Corruption Commission to take action against Mr Chadchart as well,” said Mr Srisuwan.