Taman Desa residents: Condo developer speeding up site work despite lawsuit

BY IDA LIM
Work appears to be carried out on the project site for The Address, with Tiara Faber (left) and Desa Eight (right) seen in the background. — Picture courtesy of Protect Taman Desa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — A developer is ramping up its activities at the project site of a towering condominium project that is being disputed in court, Taman Desa residents have said today.

The Protect Taman Desa group said residents neighbouring the project site have been taking photos and videos daily of activities behind hoardings that have been put up.

“Despite a lawsuit having been filed with the High Court of Kuala Lumpur, the Developer of the land of the Project which is known as ‘The Address’ has stepped up their pace of activities on the site,” the coalition said in a statement.

Previously, Protect Taman Desa highlighted that 11 residents of the three condominiums directly affected by The Address project had on March 13 filed a lawsuit to cancel Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) planning permission for the project.

“It was almost 2 weeks after putting up the hoarding that the Developer pasted a copy of the letter from DBKL authorising them to commence ‘sub-structure works’. There is no signboard to describe the project and the respective consultants et cetera as required,” the residents claimed.

In the October 12 letter sighted by Malay Mail Online, DBKL said it was offering special consent for sub-structure works to be carried out, subject to 23 conditions including only carrying out works only from 7am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday and not on Sunday or public holidays.

The Protect Taman Desa group claimed that land clearing and construction-related activities were carried out last Sunday (November 19), saying that the site activities only stopped after neighbouring residents complained to the city hall and a DBKL van was seen visiting the site.

“It appears the developer has chosen to accelerate the project such that by the time the case is heard in court, substantive ground work would have taken place and can no longer turn back or ‘undo’ what has been done without incurring significant economic losses,” it added.

A close-up view of the project site, with buildings of two schools seen across the road. — Picture courtesy of Protect Taman Desa

The Protect Taman Desa group also claimed that works on the project site have resulted in traffic congestion and mud flow.

“Since Monday, November 20, 2017, the narrow roads leading to the project site which serves two primary schools and three other existing low-density residential properties have seen heavy vehicles moving in obstructing traffic,” it said.

“On Tuesday, November 21, 2017 when the rain came in the afternoon, the ugly effects of the accelerated clearing and construction work i.e. mud flow, loose gravel etc. appeared for all to see for themselves. This is just the beginning of the consequences of unsustainable development,” it added.

A view of what Taman Desa residents say shows the near completion of clearing works for both phase one and two of the project. — Picture courtesy of Protect Taman Desa

According to the 11 suing the KL mayor over the project, DBKL had in August 2016 said it had received an application for planning permission for 649 units in three blocks of condominium of between 34 and 42 storeys.

DBKL was said to have granted planning permission for The Address on December 13 and also granted the development order on March 13.

A view of the project site as seen on November 11, 2017, with clearing work visible and with hoardings yet to be set up around the portion in between Desa Eight and 1Desa. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

The 11 residents have on April 18 obtained leave from the Kuala Lumpur High Court for the judicial review to be heard, and had also applied on August 22 for a stay order on the planning permission.

The court has not fixed a date for the judicial review hearing and will first be hearing on November 29 the developer’s application to intervene and be made a party of the lawsuit.

The developer’s intervener application will have to be heard first before the residents’ application to freeze works for the project can be heard, the residents’ lawyer Syahredzan Johan had said.

The 11 residents in the lawsuit are from the three neighbouring condominiums directly affected by The Address project, namely 10-storey Tiara Faber which has 320 units, 13-storey Desa Eight (24 units), and 13-storey 1 Desa (104 units).

A view of the project site as seen on November 11, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa