Court backs Central Village in access row

Court backs Central Village in access row

Star of the night: Holiday decorations are seen at Central@ CentralWorld in the Ratchaprasong area on the celebration of its grand opening yesterday. Central Department Store Co earmarked one billion baht for a makeover of the three-decade Zen@Central-World into the ‘ultimate lifestyle department store’, rebranding it as Central@ CentralWorld. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Star of the night: Holiday decorations are seen at Central@ CentralWorld in the Ratchaprasong area on the celebration of its grand opening yesterday. Central Department Store Co earmarked one billion baht for a makeover of the three-decade Zen@Central-World into the ‘ultimate lifestyle department store’, rebranding it as Central@ CentralWorld. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Supreme Administrative Court has upheld a lower court injunction ordering Airports of Thailand (AoT) not to hinder entrance to the luxury outlet Central Village, following a conflict over a disputed access road near Suvarnabhumi airport.

The ruling allows Central Pattana Plc (CPN), which runs the 5-billion-baht shopping complex, to continue using the area as an entrance to the venue and rejects AoT's complaint that the road usage will have a negative impact on its airport services and future development plans.

AoT earlier blocked CPN's construction of the access road that connects Highway No.370 with Central Village, accusing it of encroaching.

Suvarnabhumi's operator claimed the access road would cause traffic congestion near the airport and affect air passengers accordingly.

The judges on Wednesday reaffirmed that AoT's concerns are only "presumptive" and "preventable".

The court also rejected AoT's claim that the connecting road raises another worry over impacts to its aviation safety management, arguing the new facility has nothing to do with this issue.

The same injunction was earlier handed down on Aug 30 by the Central Administrative Court, one day before CPN opened its new high-end shopping centre. AoT later appealed the ruling to no avail.

CPN petitioned the court after AoT blocked the entrance to Gate 1 of Central Village by setting up a large tent and placing barriers on the road over a distance of 1km.

The company and AoT locked horns over the rights to use the area after the latter insisted it is Treasury Department-owned land which is overseen by the AoT.

CPN argued it had obtained permission from the Department of Highways to use the land.

The conflict has led to the AoT coming under criticism that it is protecting the interests of King Power, the duty-free concessionaire at Suvarnabhumi believed most at risk from the new mall.

AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn has denied the accusation.


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