The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

New Bangkok 5-star hotel to be razed in building dispute?

Written By: herbrunbridge - Feb• 11•12

Aetas Hotel: OK boys, tear it down... or is one of you driving a beater???

One of our favorite topics here at WoWasis is building scams in Thailand, so we just couldn’t resist what we think may be the juiciest story this week: the plush, new Aetas Bankok Hotel and Conference Center has been ordered to be demolished, because it’s in violation of a municipal code. Here’s the story:

In Bangkok, no building over 8 storeys tall can be built next to a road that’s fewer than10 meters in width. The Aetas Hotel was built on prestigious Soi Ruam Rudi  in violation of that statute, and a lawsuit was brought to bear by neighbors, influenced by a number of developers that decided not to build on that street due to the restriction. This week, according to an article in the Bangkok Post of February 11, 2012, Bangkok’s Administrative Court has ordered the hotel owner, the Larp Prathan Co., to demolish the building within 60 days. The owner has 30 days to appeal, and the process will almost certainly take a number of years.

How was a construction permit ever allowed in the first place? Who is to blame? The architects, engineers, city employees? What is known is that the width of the street was exaggerated. What is suspected by veteran Bangkok watchers is that someone’s driving a brand new car, has acquired a new expensive condo, or has opened a trendy bar in an exclusive area of town. What is also suspected is that the hotel will never come down. When the dust has cleared and the case is no longer in court, it is expected that yet another person will be driving a new car, acquiring a new condo, or opening a trendy bar.

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