The planned construction of a mall in posh Runda estate in Nairobi can now start after a judge dismissed objection by residents.
Justice Mr Elijah Obaga ruled that Runda Residents Association was consulted over the project and that the decision by National Environment Management Authority (Nema) granting Grove Limited licence to construct the mall was not faulty as alleged.
The company had proposed to construct a low density development comprising a hotel, retail centre and office block on the property.
Documents filed in court show that Grove submitted a project report to Nema and then conducted an environment impact assessment study for an impact licence.
Nema issued the licence on July 25, 2014 but Runda Association appealed the decision. It moved to the Environment Tribunal but the case was dismissed in May, last year.
Not satisfied, the association appealed, saying the EIA study was distorted and information contained in the report was misleading.
The association, through Isaac Gitoho, Peter Mwangi and Sanjeev Sharma, said there was no meaningful public participation over the proposed development.
But Justice Obaga said there was evidence that the association was aware of the project and that the company met its officials on several occasions. The judge said the company also made a publication in the media calling members of the public to give views on the project.
“I have gone through the evidence adduced at the Tribunal in relation to EIA and I do not find anything misleading in that. There is no doubt that the stakeholders were consulted,” he said.