Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Condo owners want action from developer

A tiny piece of a condominium development encroaching onto State land is making some residents see red, and they now want the developer to tear down and rebuild the affected wall, or buy over the 15 sq m plot of land from the Government.

The infringement occurred when the development was being built in the 1990s. Great Victoria Development (GVD), through its interim management council, had negotiated with the authorities for a temporary occupation licence (TOL) for the encroaching portion of land.

But the residents of Country Grandeur in Lorong Puntong allegedly only discovered there was a TOL during the annual general meeting last December, when someone questioned the $120 payment to the authorities for the licence – an entry which cropped up in the accounts of the estate’s management corporation.

The plot in question is a strip of land, about the size of a small room, by the wall in the swimming pool area.

Residents said they were unhappy that they were not informed that GVD had negotiated with the authorities for a TOL.

The developer had run the interim management council for two terms until 1999, when it turned the management of the new estate over to residents.

Some in the 66-unit estate, which is located off Sin Ming Avenue, felt that the developer should have solved the problem instead of passing it on to them.

In a letter to GVD this January, the management council, writing on behalf of residents, gave the developer two alternatives.

One, that it tear down the wall and rebuild it and any facilities affected by the demolition work. Or, two, that it buy over the strip of land with all costs to be borne by GVD.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by MediaCorp, residents also demand the developer return all the money tapped from the management corporation’s funds to pay the TOL fee over the years.

Some residents see it as a matter of principle, while others want the issue settled so that they can have peace of mind.

“The amount ($120) is not important but the ramifications are,” said one.

“What would happen if, one day, the Government decides to develop the State land or stop the TOL?”

When contacted, Mr David Hwang, who runs GVD with his father Hwang Sin Jen, declined comment.

GVD owns several units in Country Grandeur and the younger Mr Hwang, who previously served on the management council, is living there with his family.

MediaCorp understands the management council is seeking legal advice.

Source: Today, 12 May 2010

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