Developers threaten action over high-rise review

PROPERTY developers have said they are considering legal action after being told by a municipal committee to reduce the height of their under-construction buildings.

The committee, which was set up recently by Yangon City Development Committee, is reviewing nearly 200 high-rise projects in the city after chief minister U Phyo Min Thein ordered a halt to construction in May.

Sixty-four that had already received a construction permits are being reviewed first. The Myanmar Times reported that the review committee has told the developers of the first 12 buildings to be examined to change their designs.

The majority must reduce their projects by several levels, the report said. One development in Yankin Township was cut in half, from 12.5 stories to just six, while the developer of a 27-storey project on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road in Bahan was told to apply for a completely new construction permit. In another case, the developer of a 32-storey building on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road in Mayangone Township was told it could not continue building above the current height of 18 stories.

The committee that conducted the review cited a lack of car parking, zoning restrictions or the narrowness of the facing road as reasons for ordering the changes, the report said.

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Neither the names of the projects nor the developers were released. However, developers were reportedly furious at the changes, which would result in steep financial losses. In many cases, apartments had already been sold for levels that the committee has now said cannot be built.

Several developers said they would lobby the government to reconsider the decisions. If that fails they will consider legal action, they said.

“We will complain about this. The result is unclear and [the committee] does not know anything about our project. I think other developers will complain too, because all of the results are unreasonable,” U Win Naing of Pyae Soan Win Naing, which is developing The Illustra on Pho Sein Road, told the Myanmar Times.

The construction halt has also caused difficulties for other businesses involved in the sector, such as building material suppliers. Thousands of lowly paid construction workers have also been left without jobs by the order.

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