Property tycoon fined for building wall without URA permission

Real estate tycoon fined S$12,000 for building a two-tier wall around his home near Upper Changi Road North without planning permission from the URA

A 53-year old real estate tycoon was fined S$12,000 for building a two-tier wall around his home near Upper Changi Road North without planning permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), reported The Straits Times.

Koh Wee Meng – who serves as director of 31 companies including JK Assets, Fragrance Group and Parc Sovereign Hotel Management – admitted to carrying out the development at his 3,765 sq m property.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Soh Weiqi revealed that Koh acquired the Toh Crescent property in August 2009 and instructed Emerald Construction to build the first wall, which was done between August and October of that year.

He then authorised H.U.A.Y Architects to submit an application to the URA for the construction of the second wall.

DPP Soh noted that on 28 October 2010, “H.U.A.Y Architects made a re-submission, proposing a 1.4m fence wall with a 0.4m grille behind the first retaining wall,” with Koh copied in the application.

The said application was only approved by URA about a month later.

However, Koh had instructed Emerald Construction to build the second wall even before the application was approved.

With this, Emerald Construction was fined S$12,000 for carrying out the development without planning permission as well as building the wall without the approval by the Commissioner of Building Control. Its director, Tan Soon Koi, was also fined $6,000 for authorising his company to put up the wall.

Koh’s lawyer said the wall remains standing and had no issue regarding its safety.

Notably, Koh could have been fined by up to S$200,000 for carrying out the development without planning permission.

 

This article was edited by Denise Djong.