Developers of the Great Wall Gardens Housing, Erdemann Property Limited, are now facing litigation following an alleged acquisition of land set aside for industrial use to develop residential property.
Erdemann is also the developer of Seefar Apartments, which are facing demolition for being developed on a riparian land.
According to court documents in our possession, the company colluded with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to get approvals to develop residential houses on Land LR. No. 12581/13 in Athi River off Mombasa-Namanga Road.
The proposed site is next to a distillery plant belonging to London Distillers (K) Ltd, which has moved to court to have an Environmental Impact Assessment Report issued by NEMA to the developer revoked.
According to London distillers, NEMA did not engage project affected persons (PAPs) while issuing the report, despite the proposed development being in the midst of factories.
“Nema disregarded the pendency of subsisting and unresolved objections to Great Wall Gardens Housing Phases 1 and 2 respectively on LR No. 27317/2 and LR No. 12581/14 of the same site project and in utter disregard of the fact that Nema did not seek views of the London Distillers as well as other project affected persons prior to the preparation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report in respect thereof and equally that the Nema did not conduct a public hearing before issuance of the Licence but nevertheless authorised the construction thereof , having ignored the aforesaid statutory requirements , which has now been commenced without regard to the already existing complaints,” says Londo Distillers in court papers.
The developer is also accused of harassment and blackmail by launching malicious reports with the Parliament accusing the surrounding companies of pollution, despite coming into the area in 2015.
In a bid to lure unsuspecting members of the public, Erdemann is accused of publishing false information in the media saying that the companies around, especially London Distillers, have closed shop.
The land in question is owned by Galot Industries Ltd since 1982, which was zoned off as an industrial development land. London distillers was established on the same land in 1986, but the owner later changed the purpose of the land from industrial to residential, without the knowledge of the industrialists.
Nema is accused of failing to conduct an ambient air status evaluation in relation to industrial emissions from the factories around, which could make the area inhabitable.
Erdemann, purportedly acting on behalf of residents, went to court seeking orders to close London Distillers, accusing it of pollution.
Erdeman started the construction of Great Wall Phase 3 in July on the land, despite there being an existing dispute on phase 1 and 2.