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Court stops building of eco-lodge in Ngong Forest

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The court said the developer must vacate forthwith to pave the way for restoration of the forestland. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The construction of an eco-lodge within Ngong Forest has been stopped following a court ruling that said the investor had breaching the terms of the licence.

The court said Secure Homes Limited , which was building a Sh80 million facility must vacate forthwith to pave the way for restoration of the forestland.

The investor moved to court last year protesting the revocation of the order, saying it had injected money into the project and had filed an application with regulators seeking approval.

In its suspension order, KFS faulted the developer for failing to submit architectural drawings, site management plans and an environmental impact assessment audit within six months for approval.

This, it said, amounted to total disregard of the laid down regulations that warranted the punitive action.

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“The court noted that the balance of convenience tilts in favour of KFS in ensuring the approval’s terms are adhered to, forest environment is not compromised and that it is also in the interest of the public to conserve the environment,” said KFS in a notice published in the daily newspapers.

On July 5, 2019, KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau suspended Secure Homes licence issued on July 18, 2017 saying , “failure to fulfil set conditions constitutes a material breach of the licence.

Secure Homes, which planned to open a 100-bed facility in the first phase said the local investor had injected Sh10 million with the rest coming from development loans. In its application to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), the investor planned to put up a restaurant, terrace, kitchen, conference room with a capacity to accommodate 100 people, tax shops and basic landscaping for an open ground lodge.

The facility, which had been allocated 20 acres within the 3,000 hectare forest was also to have 25 guestrooms, a cultural educational centre, a gym and spa as well as a swimming pool.

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