6 June 2024

Developer of the luxury Ashton Asoke condominium in Bangkok’s Asoke area was fully aware of the risk concerning Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) land it was using for access to and from Asoke Road and that it must take responsibility were there to be a problem, according to Deputy Bangkok Governor Wisanu Subsompon today (Thursday).

He disclosed that there are two types of construction permit. One is the construction notification permit, which the developer, Ananda Development, sought from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), and the other is the ordinary construction permit.

He explained that the first type of permit is mostly sought by developers of mega projects, under Section 39 of the Building Control Act, which allows them to start building without waiting for BMA approval, providing that there are engineers and architect supervising the construction.

He said that the BMA did point out to the Ashton Asoke condominium developer back in 2015-2017 that, if there is any problem over the use of the MRTA land for access in the future, the developer will be held accountable and it was fully aware of this risk.

“The issue today is not the safety of the building, but the road access to and from the condominium,” said the deputy governor at a press conference, which was also attended by Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt and the BMA’s director of the Department of Public Works, Thawatchai Napasaksri.

Governor Chadchart said he has instructed the department to send a notice to Ananda Development by close of business tomorrow (Friday), instructing them to report to the BMA on progress in solving the road access problem within 30 days.

He insisted that the BMA’s action is not intended to benefit the developer, but is in line with the Court’s ruling, as he assured the condo buyers that City Hall has no plan to demolish the condo.

Last week, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the land being used for road access to the condominium belongs to the MRTA, which was expropriated.

The developer has been approaching several landowners around the condo, seeking to buy land to turn into an alternative road access to Sukhumvit Soi 19. The attempt has not yet been successful, because those approached so far are not interested in selling their land as they don’t need the money and because some of them had a bad experience with the developer during the construction, when debris fell from the building site into their property, over which they had lodged several complaints with the Wattana district office.