Ashton Asoke: a clarification

Ashton Asoke
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Following yesterday’s story about Ananda Development and its Ashton Asoke project in central Bangkok, we wish to issue a clarification. Note this is not a correction.

The development appeared to have had the required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) when construction began, but today it still requires one specific permit that allows for access to a nearby mass-transit station, as per original sales literature.

Bangkok’s Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) has, so far, refused to grant access, hence none of the units have been transferred to owners.

Our original headline from yesterday stands. The development does not have an EIA for its current layout, nor does it have all of the required development permits.

Ashton Asoke has won rave reviews in the property media however, it is understood that numerous owners are now seeking refunds due to the delays. Two owners at Ashton Asoke contacted ThailandProperty.News indicating they are commencing legal proceedings.

To clarify our story, the Royal Thai Government said the condo violates construction regulations because it does not have an exit onto Asoke.

Ananda is reported to have applied for a separate licence from the MRTA that could serve as an exit. It needs to obtain a further construction permit from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), as well as conduct a further EIA, according to media reports.

The construction permit has stalled because of an ongoing legal dispute over the MRTA entrance scheme.

Last month, financial research house Phatra Securities reported: “Ashton Asoke would be the key risk for Ananda. The company still expects to obtain the permit to use the building and transfer the project this year.”

In March, Krungsri Securities also sounded a warning, saying: “Ananda’s share price has fallen 30 percent in the last three months due to concerns whether it would be able to transfer Ashton Asoke (worth THB 6.7 billion and 98 percent sold).”

“There were talks that common areas in the building are different from the initial design, and that the MRTA did not ask cabinet for approval to allow Ananda to use some of their land however, the company has since fixed the design issue and is now waiting for the government to issue the building permit.”

The securities firm added” “Two parties have filed suits against BMA and MRTA at the Administrative Court, claiming BMA and MRTA did not follow procedure to issue the permits to Ananda.”

“This should be the reason why Ananda has not received the building permit (Aor. 6) for Ashton Asoke; the BMA officer would have to wait for the case to be cleared first and this could take time although the verdict is expected to be between September 2018 and December 2018.”

“These two cases can be appealed, which may take another one or two years.”

“Therefore, Ananda has filed an appeal to the Appeal Committee, claiming that it has all the required permits and that the case has created a negative impact on its stakeholders (shareholders, buyers of Ashton Asoke, others), and that the BMA should grant the building permit.”

“According to the developer, the Appeal Committee has authority to direct BMA to issue building permit to Ananda,” said the securities company.

Ananda was reported to have set aside THB 18 billion for interest of the deposits at Ashton Asoke, the research firm said during May.

The developer was given multiple opportunities to respond to our stories prior to publication but has failed to do so.

Yesterday (Monday), shares in the listed developer declined by 4.32 percent.

Andrew Batt
The author of this article is Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of Andrew has been writing about property and real estate issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia for more than 10 years. He has worked for PropertyGuru Group, DDproperty, Dot Property Group, Hipflat and AsiaRents. He has also produced content for leading Thailand property developers and real estate agencies.

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