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Unauthorized Condominium Complexes, Sri Lanka

Court Case to safeguard the rights and well-being of the residents of Mount Lavinia who are affected by large scale unplanned, unauthorized and unlawful construction activities in the area and the negative impacts thereof.


Highrise condominium complexes are mushrooming in urban areas of Sri Lanka, especially in the City of Colombo and its suburbs. Mount Lavinia, a western coastal town within the Municipality Limits of Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia in the outskirts of Colombo is also feeling the weight of condominium complexes.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Unauthorized Condominium Complexes, Sri Lanka
Country:Sri Lanka
State or province:Western Province
Location of conflict:Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council Area in the District of Colombo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In the instant case, the developer has been given permission to build a condominium complex at Lilian Avenue, Mount Lavinia in violation of the Zoning and Planning and Building Regulations applicable to Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia.

Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:01/12/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Link Legend (Pvt) Ltd. (Blue Ocean Group of Companies) – The Developer
Relevant government actors:Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia Municipal Council
Urban Development Authority
Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Mount Lavinia Residents’ Association
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Noise pollution
Other Health impactsAir pollution caused by construction in the short term and traffic congestion in the long term, air quality degradation by blocking of ventilation and natural light
Other socio-economic impactsSevere strain on the common utilities and public resources, over crowded urban areas
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Case pending in Court
Development of alternatives:Through the writ application the Petitioners seek inter alia to quash the building permit and other approvals issued to the developer.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The case is pending – if the case ends in favour of the Petitioners, it will be an environmental justice success
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Municipal Council Ordinance No. 29 of 1947 as amended

“Development Plan; Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council Area – Zoning Regulations: 2007-2020 of the Urban Development Authority (UDA)

Planning & Building Regulations 2008-2020 of the UDA

Urban Development Authority Act No. 41 of 1978 as amended

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Mushrooming Mt Lavinia-Condos and woes of local residents
[click to view]

Mount Lavinia residents protest against new constructions
[click to view]

Mt Lavinia residents say no to illegal buildings
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Public Interest Law Foundation (2nd Floor, Vidya Mandiraya, 120/10, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7. Sri Lanka) Email: [email protected]
Last update05/11/2018
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