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Tribunal stops construction of houses in Lavington over pollution

The National Environment Tribunal has stopped a private developer from constructing town houses within a gated community in the upmarket Lavington estate in Nairobi.

In a letter dated November 16, the Tribunal wrote to Pyramid Builders Ltd, ordering it to stop the construction of the town houses within Thomson estate pending an appeal by a residents association.

“Take notice that the National Environment Tribunal has received an appeal from Koome Mwambia, Maribel Larson and Jeremy Ngunze suing as officials of Kunde Road Residents Welfare Association dated 16th December 2016 against NEMA’s decision to grant you an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licence for construction of town houses on L.R No. 330/485 along Kunde Road, Thompson Estate,

Nairobi without following the laid down statutory procedures,” reads the letter.

“Take further notice that Section 129(4) of EMCA states that “upon any appeal to the Tribunal under this section, the status quo of any matter or activity, which is the subject of the appeal, shall be maintained until the appeal is determined.”

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to direct that all activities relating to the appeal in question must be stopped until the appeal is heard and determined by the Tribunal,” the letter concludes.

The residents have been opposed to the developer’s decision to put up the town houses in the estate which comprises 69 single unit houses.

They argue that a baseline survey of key parameters such as noise pollution, air quality, electric power consumption and storm water drainage was not appropriated at the site prior to the construction.

“No evaluation of anticipated environmental impact and proposed mitigation associated with the development of such magnitude was carried out,’ argues Mr Mwambia.

The residents also argue that the developer obtained the approval for “change of user” in a fraudulent manner.

It is the second time the developer is being ordered to stop the construction of the town houses until the appeal by the residents is heard and determined.

In September, the developer ignored NEMA’s orders to halt the construction of the town houses.

NEMA had in a letter dated August 9, ordered Pyramid Builders Ltd to stop further construction until an appeal lodged by the residents’ association was determined by the Tribunal.

But the developer claimed to have obtained court orders to proceed with the construction.

Last month, the developer moved to court seeking clearance to build the town houses.

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