Developer Required to Obtain New Building Permit
The Ashton Asoke condominium project in Bangkok has received some relief as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced that the luxury condo will not be demolished. Instead, the developer must obtain a new construction permit within 30 days.
Background and Court Ruling
The Supreme Administrative Court had previously ordered the condo’s construction permit to be retroactively invalidated due to the developer’s failure to secure a standard 12-meter-wide entrance to the property. However, in a recent press conference, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, along with his deputy Wisanu Sapsompol and BMA’s director of building control, Surat Tirakul, provided new details about the condo’s future.
Construction Permit Withdrawal and Re-application
According to the Bangkok governor, the BMA will send the official construction permit withdrawal notice to Watthana district office soon. From there, the project developer, Ananda MF Asia Asoke Co., will receive the notice as instructed by the court. After that, the company has 30 days to request a new construction permit to be issued for the Ashton Asoke condo. The deadline can be extended by up to 120 days if required.
The BMA had not been able to communicate with Ananda due to a six-day holiday that had recently ended. Governor Chadchart insisted that the BMA had approved the initial construction permit in strict compliance with the relevant regulations, as the company had met all application criteria.
No Need for Demolition and Tenant Concerns
Chadchart emphasized that there is no need to demolish the Ashton Asoke condo, and tenants are allowed to remain in the building. The court ruling does not pertain to the main entrance connecting with Asok Montri Road, which is on land rented from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA). Furthermore, the ruling does not concern any safety issues, as the condo has easy access for fire engines in emergencies and is not prone to hazards that could lead to a collapse.
Alternative Entrance Options
The BMA is now considering whether the 50-story condo can build an alternative entrance that meets the required width via either Sukhumvit Soi 19 or Sukhumvit Soi 21. The law stipulates that the entrance must be at least 12 meters wide and connected to a public road that is a minimum of 18 meters wide. Officials will determine if either of these options is wide enough for the new entrance. If a new entrance needs to be constructed, the project developer will be responsible for the expenses.
BMA’s Internal Investigation and Tenant Complaints
The BMA is establishing a panel to investigate its own agencies involved in the issuance of the construction permit and other permits connected to the condo project. Meanwhile, Kulchalika Rungwara, a representative of Ashton Asoke condo tenants, stated that they were unaware of the legal dispute over the entrance. She also mentioned that the developer has not kept tenants updated on the legal situation, and she plans to sue the company for damages.