Ananda exploring slew of solutions to end legal tussle over Ashton Asoke condo
Ananda Development Plc said on Thursday that it was urgently seeking a possible solution to help buyers of condo units in the controversial Ashton Asoke tower following a court ruling that invalidated the construction permit.
The company issued a statement following the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court on July 27 that led to the retroactive invalidation of the 6-billion-baht condo project’s construction permit.
Ananda MF Asia Asoke Co Ltd, which is in charge of the project, said in the statement that it was seeking any of the following solutions:
▪︎ The company may resubmit a request for construction permission by buying more adjacent land as the new main entrance of the project.
▪︎ The company may ask the Public Works Department of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to propose to the Public Works and Town & Country Planning Department of the Interior Ministry to seek a Cabinet resolution for amending the related law.
▪︎ The company may ask the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand to ask the Transport Ministry to seek a Cabinet resolution to amend related law.
▪︎ The firm may coordinate with the previous owners of plots of land on which the project was built to ask the MRTA to retroactively grant public access to the plot to enable large project construction following the expropriation of adjacent land for the construction of an underground railway station.
▪︎ The company may file a new petition with the Central Administrative Court to review the case with new evidence that have changed the facts surrounding the legal tussle.
On July 27, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that although Ashton Asoke’s main entrance joins Asoke Road, a part of the entrance space belongs to the MRTA, which expropriated the land for a subway station. As a result, the court ruled that the MRTA space could not be counted as Asthon Asoke’s land so it cannot meet the requirement of having at least one 12-metre-wide entrance.
In the statement, Ananda MF Asia Asoke Co Ltd said all of its buyers realised the legal risk due to the legal complaint against the project.
The statement said in the initial stage, the company could not transfer condo ownership to its buyers so it had already proposed to refund, offer relocation of units to other projects, or reduction of prices to the buyers.
Of 766 buyers, 244 had cancelled the purchase contracts and got refunds while four buyers chose the option of relocation to other projects, the company added.
It said 518 buyers had chosen to wait for ownership transfer and received price reduction. It added that buyers who had signed a contract after 2018 knew well about the legal tussle.
Ananda MF Asia Asoke Co Ltd added that it had been coordinating with several banks to try to help its buyers who are paying instalments for the unit purchases.
The company has asked the banks to give special interest rates to the buyers to mitigate the impact on them or consider other measures to help them. Ananda said it was still awaiting a response from the banks.
Earlier, Ananda had demanded that the BMA share the responsibility for issuing a permit for construction and other required certificates for the project. But the BMA argued it had stated in the certificates that the developer must take responsibility if the Administrative Court ruled against the project.
Ananda MF Asia Asoke said in the statement that such a conditional approval was stated in just one document, the construction certificate (A6), which was issued only after construction was completed. Other certificates issued earlier did not carry such a condition, the company added.