Aston confronts region’s public prosecution authorities

UralBusinessConsulting Agency of Information and Analytics has recently received a letter from Aston, the local developer. The letter appears to be a response to the news regarding the company the agency made available online.

The letter says:

‘Dear Sirs,

Thank you for the attention you’ve been paying to one of our projects, Aston Plaza, located at the intersection of Gurzufskaya and Radischev St. in Yekaterinburg. Let us point out, however, that the news regarding the public prosecution authorities’ demand that the construction process should be stopped was presented in a rather one-sided way.

We’d like to emphasize that the order we received from the deputy public prosecutor of Yekaterinburg’s Verkh-Isetskiy district on May 13, 2008 only says we must eliminate the detected violations and improve our technical package as well as have the people responsible for the problems face administrative liability. Nothing was said regarding the alleged freezing of the construction process.

All the media resources that asked our press officer for comments were given the chance to offer their questions directly to Aston’s Chairman Vyacheslav A. Trapesnikov, who explained that the company had gone through eleven lawsuits already, all of which it was able to win. One of the claims was based on the complaints placed by the dwellers from the neighboring apartment buildings, as Aston Plaza was believed to deprive them of sunshine. This resulted in two arbitration proceedings (which the developer won).

Says Vyacheslav A. Trapesnikov: ‘The court’s decision states that we did not infringe on these dwellers’ rights, since thirty apartments in the building, northerly located, only had thirty minutes of sunshine a day in the first place. According to the existing regulations, though, at least one room in any building must get at least two hours of sunshine a day. So, this particular building was poorly designed from the very beginning.

Aston Group has been cooperating with the dwellers’ committee for two years, holding meetings and trying to enhance their loyalty to the developer. For instance, Aston put up a new modern greenery, a sports ground, and a recreation area. All this was reported by the media at the time.

In addition, the developer asked a number of experts for a list of compensatory measures for the dwellers of neighbring buildings. Vyacheslav Trapesnikov reports the company is awaiting their reply at the moment and intends to go through with all the compensatory measures not because it is made to do so, but because the developer thinks it necessary.

As a matter of fact, Aston Group’s corporate policy provides for total transparency for both the media and the public. The company’s PR Department is always willing to cooperate with the media, while its top executives are prepared to provide comments any time. We would be glad to answer your reporters’ phone calls, give all kinds of explanations, and provide you with all the data you might want.’

In the meantime, according to their press release, Sverdlovsk Region’s public prosecution authorities insist on freezing the illegal construction process that involves Aston’s apartment building in Radischev and Gurzufskaya St. in Yekaterinburg. The authorities had to react to the local residents’ numerous complaints and conduct an investigation that revealed that this high-rise building would block all the sunshine from the nearby apartment block, which infringes on the dwellers’ natural right to nice environment.

Apart from that, the developer operates on the basis of the permit issued by Yekaterinburg’s municipal council.

However, the regional experts report Aston’s design documentation and engineering survey reports do not meet the legal requirements and have to be improved on.

As a result, the public prosecution authorities protest against the illegal construction permit and have already taken legal action against Aston’s top executive. UralBusinessConsulting is going to keep an eye on how the events unfold.

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