Gillman Heights appeal to halt collective sale dismissed

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the last-ditch appeal by 10 minority owners of former HUDC estate Gillman Heights to stop its collective sale.

Minority owners at the huge estate at Alexandra Road have been battling the S$548m collective sale since it was approved by the Strata Titles Board (STB) in 2007.

This appeal was the last recourse for the minority owners. They had argued that STB was wrong to approve the en bloc deal when the prospective buyers received consent from less than 90 per cent of the owners.

Senior Counsel Michael Hwang, who represented the minority group, argued in court last week that the en bloc sale of Gillman Heights needed consent from 90 per cent of owners and not the usual 80 per cent.

His reason was that Gillman Heights obtained its certificate of statutory completion in 2002 and was thus less than 10 years old.

Under the government’s en bloc rules, 90 per cent consent is needed for estates less than 10 years old, and 80 per cent for those older.

But the Court of Appeal ruled on Monday that only 80 per cent consent was needed for the collective sale of Gillman Heights to go through.

The ruling sets a precedent for all other HUDC estates which want to go en bloc, and clearly demarcates what criteria should be used in the future.

CapitaLand and Hotel Properties, with two private funds, inked the deal to buy the estate in 2007.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 Feb 2009

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