Mount Lavinia residents protest against illegal constructions

Mount Lavinia residents are up in arms against some illegal constructions being erected in the area.

Banners have been put up by the residents objecting to the construction of high rise buildings in the area without proper approval.

Speaking to the Colombo Gazette, the Mount Lavinia Residents Association Committee said that some buildings have violated the approval given on the number of floors they can have.

The Mount Lavinia Residents Association said that the Minister of Mega Polis and Western Province Development Patali Champika Ranawaka had sent a team to the area following protests by the residents to discuss their concerns.

The residents said that neither the Urban Development Authority (UDA) or the Dehiwela Mount Lavinia Municipal Council have taken action against the developers who have violated the building regulations.

“We have informed Director Enforcement UDA of these developments on 20th June 2017. The construction of badly planned apartments have inflicted damages on neighbouring homes. The developers of these apartments have not compensated the home owners whose houses have been damaged,” Mount Lavinia Residents Association said.

They say the law of the land needs to be implemented so that citizens of Mount Lavinia continue to have faith in the legal institutions and the government machinery.

“Previous Governments such as that of the UNP in the 1980’s recognized the tourism potential in Mount Lavinia and implemented strict building regulations in the area. In the 1980’s, the then development of Mount Royal Hotel (today Berjaya Mount Royal) was restricted to four floors. There is a problem with the existing building regulations and the Dehiwela Mount Lavinia Municipal Council had even granted approval to build 15 floors despite the fact that the existing road infrastructure, sewerage facilities, water supply facilities and electricity distribution facilities have not developed since the 1980’s. There should be height restriction on new and existing buildings in the sea side of Mount Lavinia as it lies in the main flight path of aircraft which fly to Ratmalana Airport,” the Mount Lavinia Residents Association said.

The Mount Lavinia Residents Association urged the authorities to limit the maximum height of buildings in Mount Lavinia seaside to four floors as was the regulation in the 1980’s.

They also urged the authorities to prevent the demolition of buildings which are in excess of 50 years old and are architecturally important as they contribute to the old world charm. (Colombo Gazette)