Bangkok Residents step up battle against Keppel Land
RESIDENTS in a Bangkok neighbourhood have opened up a new front in their battle against a Singapore-based property developer with a plea for the Singapore government to urge Keppel Land to make the modifications they are seeking to a proposed 30-storey condominium.
The residents sent a letter to the Singapore embassy requesting assistance in the dispute. They want Keppel Land to make design changes to the K5 Condominium project in Sukhumvit Soi 28 so that the structure conforms with Thailand’s Construction and Building Act.
“Since the company started a public hearing on the environmental impact assessment (EIA), we have asked it four times to revise the design to match with the landscape of the neighbourhood between Sukhumvit Soi 28 and Soi 30,” said Manit Sriwanichbhum, a representative of the local residents who will be affected by the project if construction proceeds as planned.
“That was after we saw that the project’s design did not follow the rules laid down in the country’s Building and Construction Act. But the company did not redesign the project and is going ahead regardless with the existing design for home sales intended for the overseas market.
“As a result, we have asked the Singapore government, with the contact with the Singapore embassy, to intervene when private companies from that country expand their investments in Thailand without adhering to Thailand’s planning laws.” He said the community’s input had been disregarded when residents spoke of their concerns at the public hearing for the EIA.
As the company did not amend the design of the project, the residents were forced to take the matter to the Singapore embassy, he said, adding that this action may finally sway Keppel Land to address the concerns raised by raised by the community.
The Nation yesterday has asked the management of KPN Land Co Ltd for a response to the demands of people in the Sukhumvit 28 community. But the management of KPN Land Co Ltd, a partner of Keppel Land Ltd on two luxury towers in Sukhumvit Soi 19 and Soi 28, declined to comment. The Sukhumvit projects are worth about Bt2.2 billion.
However, Keppel Land Ltd, which holds a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture firm and KPN Land Co Ltd, with 51 per cent, set up the joint venture to develop the two freehold condominiums projects since November 2017. The joint venture company is in the process of applying to get an environmental impact assessment and construction licence under a plan to start construction on both projects in the third quarter of this year.
The first site covers about 1,600 square metres in a prime residential enclave in Sukhumvit Soi 19.
The second project, covering 3,200 square metres, is in a well-established residential district in Sukhumvit Soi 28. It will yield about 265 units spread on about 30 floors, with a net saleable area of about 16,000 sq m.