Condo residents fail to get more money from Govt

Condo residents fail to get more money from Govt
Residents of Thomson 800 want to be paid at least $5.8 million for a piece of land acquired by the Government, but valuers for the authorities say the affected land is not worth that much because its use is limited.

The owners of a high-end condominium in Thomson Road have failed to convince the authorities to increase the $556,000 compensation offered when a slice of its land was acquired for road development.

The Appeals Board (Land Acquisition) rejected the appeal by the Thomson 800 owners on Monday and ordered them to pay $53,000 in legal costs, making it clear they had not proved the compensation was inadequate.

The Appeals Board, comprising Commissioner of Appeals Foo Tuat Yien, Singapore Institute of Architects president Rita Soh and Associate Professor Sing Tien Foo from the National University of Singapore, had held hearings over three days in July.

Residents of the condo opposite MacRitchie

Reservoir had argued that the 600.9 sq m piece of land acquired by the Government was worth least $5.8 million.

But the Collector of Land Revenue awarded some $556,000 in compensation in July 2012.

The 10m-wide plot was acquired by the Government in 2011 as part of the construction of the North South Expressway Stage 1 from Admiralty Road to Toa Payoh Rise and redevelopment.

It is currently used for 13 carpark spaces and an electrical substation, and is fringed by trees and drains.

The plot, close to Marymount Road, forms 2.1 per cent of the 28,573 sq m of freehold land making up Thomson 800.

Completed in 1999, the development was Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing's maiden residential project in Singapore. It has a four-storey apartment block and three 20-storey blocks containing a total of 390 units. Facilities include swimming pools, tennis courts and a clubhouse.

Valuers from opposing sides had agreed that the market value, based on the residential zoning and plot ratio, was about $11 million but differed on the amount to be discounted and the adjustment factor to be applied to the market value, such as constraints on its use.

Valuers for the authorities argued that the affected land is part of a road and green buffer zone, which meant its use was very limited. The sum payable was worked out using the rent paid for a playing field in Upper Thomson Road as a benchmark.

But lawyers from Infinitus Law Corporation, representing Thomson 800 residents, had taken issue with this and suggested alternative ways with reference to Singapore Land Authority rates for "remnant land", or small plots of land left over after development.

Expressing disappointment at the outcome, Thomson 800 resident Steven Sobak, who is treasurer of the condo's management committee, said they would be consulting their lawyers on the decision.

This article was first published on Jan 3, 2015.
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