Ashton Asoke must reapply for permit
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Ashton Asoke must reapply for permit

BMA says B6bn condo project won't be dismantled

Ashton Asoke condo project (photo supplied)
Ashton Asoke condo project (photo supplied)

The owner of a high-profile Asoke condominium project may resubmit a request for a construction permit with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) provided it has a clear plan to address the entrance problem, Wisanu Subsompon, a deputy Bangkok governor, said yesterday.

His remarks come as Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt is under increasing pressure to act after Thursday's ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court. It invalidated the construction permit granted to the already finished 6-billion-baht Ashton Asoke condo project in Watthana district following a longstanding legal dispute.

Mr Wisanu said the BMA will now notify the project owner, Ananda MF Asia Asoke Co, Ananda's joint venture operating the Ashton Asoke project, that the permit for the luxury condo has been revoked under the court's order. However, he also moved to allay fears among condo residents that the 50-storey high-rise will be dismantled.

The deputy governor said the BMA will allow the project owner time to re-submit their request on the condition that it must have at least one entrance of at least 12 metres wide connected to a public road of 18 metres in width, as per the ruling.

Ashton Asoke's main entrance joins with Asoke Road.

However, part of the entrance space belongs to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) which expropriated the land to build the underground train station entrance right on the project's doorstep.

The MRTA space cannot be counted as Ashton Asoke's land which means the requirement for at least one 12-metre-wide entrance cannot be met.

Mr Wisanu said that as Ananda rents the space from the MRTA, it is a legal risk which the project owner has to bear.

Mr Chadchart will talk to the media about the fate of the project on Thursday, according to the deputy governor.

The case was brought to the Central Administrative Court by activist Srisuwan Janya, president of the Stop Global Warming Association, who represents a group of residents from a nearby residential project.

The petitioners asked the court to act against BMA officials, including the Watthana district office, for approving the permit despite knowing about the problem with the entrance width.

Mr Srisuwan said the developer should not use the 580 tenants of the condo to pressure the BMA and the MRTA into shouldering responsibility for the damages incurred as a result of the saga.

MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas, meanwhile, said the agency has not been contacted by Ananda in the aftermath of the court's ruling.

However, he maintained the MRTA is not liable for any damages resulting from the court's decision.

He said the construction had been retroactively revoked, not the MRTA's permission to allow the use of its space as part of the entrance.

He added it is strictly a dispute involving Ananda and the BMA.

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