BY SAM ALFAN.
The Court of Appeal has dismissed a case filed by a developer whose hotel was demolished last December.
Three judges of the Appellate Court ruled that the application by Whitehorse Investments ltd, the developer of Hotel Grand Manor, near UN headquarters in Gigiri, had no merit.
The five-star hotel, which is being constructed in Gigiri next US embassy was demolished in December 2018 after the owner failed to convince Employment and Labour relations court to stopped notices, issued to the owner, demanding the structure to be pulled down.
The owner appealed but the Appellate Court said that the learned judge cannot be faulted for dismissing the case. “We find no merit in this appeal which we dismiss with costs to the Nairobi County Government,” court ordered.
Justice Benard Eboso dismissed the petition by Whitehorse Investments limited, saying the businessman had failed to appeal against the decision by the County Government at the physical planning liaison committee before moving to the Environment and Land Court.
He said the petition before him was premature.
Early January Court of Appeal suspended further demolition of multi-million-shilling Grand Manor Hotel near the US Embassy and United Nations office in Gigiri owned by businessman Praful Kumar.
Appellate Judges Mohamed Warsame, Daniel Musinga and Prof Otieno Odek directed the order of stay to operate pending hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the Kumar.
“In the mean time status quo the property L.R. NAIROBI/BLOCK 91/239 to be maintain pending hearing of the appeal” ruled the Judges.
This is after the Grand Manor hotel filed an appeal seeking orders to stop further demolition of the hotel.
Nairobi County Government had served the businessman with enforcement notices December 14, 2017, requiring them to stop further construction of the hotel.
But the businessman said he had obtained all the required approvals from the County for the construction of the hotel along UN Avenue of Limuru road. He claimed he was shocked to receive the letter asking him to stop further construction and remove the foundation.
Attempt by Whitehorse Investments limited lawyer Kithinji Marete to secure stay orders pending appeal were decline despite endless effort to plead with the judge.
He told the court that , U.S embassy is behind the the demolition and they have been conduct surveillance on the top of the multi-million hotel.
The court heard that the project was 75 per cent complete and he had spent over Sh200 million in the construction. He further told the court that he had paid the inspection fee of Sh2.9 million and it was upon the County Government to undertake the inspection because it was their duty..
The proprietor maintained that the letter was malicious, unreasonable and the County was shifting the burden to him.
The building owner told Justice Eboso that the construction had not been condemned and it did not pose any risk, including health to the residents nearby.
The court heard that the hotel was being constructed with high standards by reputable contractor and supervision was being done by qualified professionals.
On its part through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the County Government said the notice was issued with Section 30(1)of the Physical Planning Act and the Nairobi County building by-laws, a legal framework which is geared towards containing and controlling developments within the City.
Lawyer Kinyanjui said the Act provides for mechanism for appeal to the liaison committee, which the proprietor had ignored. He further said the owner had ignored the Physical Planning Act and was trying to use the court to propagate the impunity.