Supreme Courts Legal Ruling on Ashton Asoke Puts Other Projects at Risk – Similar Fate Looms for Residential Developments on State Land

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Supreme Courts Legal Ruling on Ashton Asoke Puts Other Projects at Risk – Similar Fate Looms for Residential Developments on State Land

More residential projects could be facing a similar fate as Ashton Asoke.

The already-constructed 6.4-billion-baht condominium project in Watthana district could now be facing demolition after the Supreme Administrative Court ruled last Thursday that the construction permit granted to the project is invalid.

According to the court’s ruling, Ashton Asoke’s construction permit was deemed illegal due to the luxury 50-story project, comprising 783 units sold at approximately 7 million baht per unit, violating building control regulations by having an improper entrance.

Specifically, the court ruled that its entrance was not in accordance with the law, as it was supposed to be at least 12 meters wide and connected to a public road for safety purposes, but was only 6.4 meters wide.

Furthermore, the court ruled that the permission granted by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), which permitted the utilization of expropriated land as an exit and entrance to Asoke Road, was unlawful.

The land was taken from private individuals through expropriation for the purpose of constructing MRTA’s Blue Line and was designated exclusively for public benefit, not rented out for private benefit.

According to news reports, other residential and shopping mall projects using state land in a similar manner as Ashton Asoke are now at risk of facing similar legal actions as well.

These include Noble Revolve Ratchada, Whizdom Avenue Ratchada-Ladprao, Celes Asoke, THE BASE Phetkasem, and Nue Noble Ratchada-Latphrao.

The developer of Ashton Asoke, Ananda Development, said in a statement that they had fully complied with the law when applying for the permit, which was granted to Ananda MF Asia Asoke, a joint venture operating the project.

They stated that the project had received permission from up to eight state agencies, as required by the law, before construction began.

Serial petitioner Srisuwan Janya, who led a group of 15 residents living near the high-rise project to file a petition against it, stated last Friday that he will file another petition for Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt to set up a panel to investigate officials at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) who were involved in the approval of the now-invalid permit.

The initial lawsuit was filed in 2016 against the Watthana district office chief and four other district officials over their approval of the permit.

Srisuwan also asserted that accountability should extend to officials working in both the building control division of the BMA’s Department of Public Works and the BMA’s Traffic and Transport Department.

For the 580 affected families who have bought residential units in Ashton Asoke, the Foundation For Consumers stated that they have the right to cancel their contracts, and the developer must return their money with interest before continuing to pursue further complaints against the related state agencies that granted the permit.

The foundation also offered legal help against the project developer.

Out of the 580 affected families, some of whom were already living in the building, 142 are foreign customers from 20 countries.