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Developer ignored advice on construction on wetland, says City Hall

The city county government on Monday said it told a developer to stop building on the banks of River Ngong before the firm moved to court.

Correspondence and court documents between City Hall and Mosiara Trading Ltd — the firm building a high-end hotel near T-Mall on Mbagathi road — show that the developer, sued the devolved unit when ordered to stop construction on the wetland.

Mr John Amol Ojwang, a director with the planning department, said the developer was granted orders barring the county government from demolishing the building.

Documents indicate that before the order was issued, the public raised concern over the security of the building, prompting the county government to convene a meeting.

“A meeting between county government officials, the developer and the National Environment Management Authority was held and it was agreed that safety measures be put in place,” said Mr Amol.

RIPARIAN AREA

Minutes of the meeting indicate that the owner of the building was to ensure that it stood 10 metres from the riparian area.

The project engineer was to present an amended plan to ensure that the building was protected from floods in case of rains.

Mr Amol said the developer did not respond to his two letters asking for an environmental impact assessment review of the project and its viability.

He accused the developer of disregarding the law and failing to comply with performance requirements.

“Public safety takes precedence over an individual’s right. The plaintiff should not hide behind court orders,” he said.

The county government moved to court challenging the orders.

Through Mr Edward Omotii, the devolved government wants the court to stop construction of the building until the suit is heard and determined.

However, the developer insists that the building plan was approved by the county government. The firm also says it had a valid environmental impact certificate from Nema, which was later revoked.