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
NameUnauthorized Condominium Complexes, Sri Lanka
CountrySri Lanka
ProvinceWestern Province
SiteDehiwala 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 CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn 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 Date01/12/2017
Company Names or State EnterprisesLink Legend (Pvt) Ltd. (Blue Ocean Group of Companies) – The Developer
Relevant government actorsDehiwala- Mount Lavinia Municipal Council

Urban Development Authority

Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMount Lavinia Residents’ Association
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Noise pollution
OtherAir 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
OtherSevere strain on the common utilities and public resources, over crowded urban areas
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Case pending in Court
Development of AlternativesThrough the writ application the Petitioners seek inter alia to quash the building permit and other approvals issued to the developer.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The case is pending – if the case ends in favour of the Petitioners, it will be an environmental justice success
Sources and Materials

Urban Development Authority Act No. 41 of 1978 as amended

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


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

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

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

Other Documents

Photograph of Highrise buildings in Mount Lavinia taken by the Mount Lavinia Residents’ Association
[click to view]

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