Court rejects appeal, orders demolition of luxury hotel on Soi Ruamrudee

Construction News

AETAS, A LUXURY 24-storey hotel in Soi Ruamrudee, faces demolition within 60 days on the orders of the Supreme Administrative Court, which yesterday upheld an earlier ruling that the construction violated building laws.

The hotel, which has a connected 18-storey serviced apartment, has 214 rooms in Soi Ruamrudee and is already in service.

The court ruling yesterday said that the hotel buildings in Soi Ruamrudee, which is at the heart of downtown Bangkok, had been built illegally, as the width of the soi is not 10 metres throughout as claimed by a former Bangkok governor and a former Pathum Wan district chief who approved the construction.

Sitthichai Tuamsakon, director of the Pathumwan district office, said that according to the 1979 Building Act, if a road’s width is less than 10 metres, a building on the road must not exceed 23 metres in height, or about eight storeys. The building in question has more than 20 storeys, so it may have to be demolished to be about eight storeys tall.

Yesterday’s ruling upheld an |earlier verdict by the Central Administrative Court in 2012 that ruled in favour of a petition by Foundation for Consumers volunteer lawyer Chalermphong Klabdee, who represented 24 Ruamrudee residents.

The petitioners included Royal Household Bureau’s Deputy Lord Chamberlain Khwankeo Vajaroda-ya, police spokesman Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri, and Royal physician Songkhram Sabcharoen. The petition targeted the then Bangkok governor and the then Pathumwan district chief for allowing Tabtimtorn and Lapprathan companies to construct the highrise on Soi Ruamrudee.

The co-defendants were Larp-pratharn Co and Thaptimthorn Co, which built the building.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Metro-politan Administration clerk Sanya Cheenimitr said he would look into the court ruling in detail before commenting on the issue.

“I need reports from the Pathumwan district office on legislation and the approval process to decide whether to set up an investigative committee to prosecute officials involved,” he said.

Sitthichai added it is expected that the owners of the buildings would takes its appeal against the court rulings to the BMA. The demolition cost will be paid by the owners, he said.