Supreme Court rules Ashton Asoke-Rama 9 project illegal

FRIDAY, JULY 28, 2023

The Supreme Court has ruled on the Ananda Development’ s Ashton Asoke-Rama 9 project, declaring it illegal and ordering the construction to be halted and the project to be dismantled.

The developer and the state agencies involved will be held responsible for the damages caused, and have been given a 14-day deadline to provide remedies without having to demolish the building.

The highest administrative court upheld the decision of the lower court to revoke the construction permit of the Ashton Asoke-Rama 9 project. The case, which is considered significant in Thailand’s real estate sector, involves the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), which intended to use the land for the first phase of a railway project.

Initially, the land for the high-rise condo project was adjacent to a public road (Asok-Montri Road), but part of it was later reclaimed to accommodate the project.

According to Pisit Detchaiyasak, a legal advisor from WCP, reclaimed land cannot be given to private parties for use in construction. When the land cannot be utilised for construction, the issuance of construction permits by government agencies violates the law, as the land does not meet the requirements stated in the Ministry of Interior Regulation No. 33 (1992).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court's ruling will affect the residents occupying the 668 units in Ashton Asoke Rama 9, Ananda Development Plc's Property Business CEO, Prasert Taedullayasatit said.

"We have to continue fighting to determine who will be held responsible for this issue, as all five government agencies have been sued. We will need to negotiate with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), along with other related government agencies, to find a solution and alleviate the damages caused. It is expected that the process will take up to 14 days," he said.

Prasert also stated that the Supreme Administrative Court's ruling could impact the confidence of consumers and investors. This is significant as the title deeds have already been issued, and people have been living there for over four years. Furthermore, this is not an isolated case, as there are several other similar projects that have implications for other projects connected to government agencies under land reclamation laws.

This case could also limit the confidence of the company's bondholders because we have units with a sales value of approximately 828 million baht, and we hold half of the shares, which means the depreciation value of the assets is around 250-300 million baht. This is significantly less than the ability to service the principal and bonds, Prasert added.