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Court orders building demolition next to illegally sawn oak tree

Court of first instance has ruled that the new building in Mārupe, which is suspected to have connections with the case of an oak tree being illegally felled, will have to be demolished, Latvian Television reported October 12.

At least a century-old oak was illegally sawn in Mārupe in October last year. The tree may have been cut because it interfered with the adjacent new build. The developer and construction contractor of the project "Dižozolu nami" is Zeninvest Ltd. Some 600 thousand euros have been invested in building the house.

Police initially commenced criminal proceedings for arbitrary felling of trees, but prequalified it according to the Section of the Criminal Law regarding destruction or damage of specially protected nature territories, if significant harm has been caused. One person was identified as a suspect in the spring.

The court has now ruled that the new building will have to be demolished. The Court of First Instance annulled the building permit issued and found the construction of the rowhouse arbitrary.

The Court's decision requires that the plot of land be restored to its previous condition. This means tearing the building to the ground. The decision of the Court of First Instance may be appealed. However, the project executor has not yet decided whether to do so.

“See the lawyers and think about what to do next,” added Oskars Kalniņš, board Member of Zeninvest Ltd.

“The aim is not to get the project demolished. That would be extremely useless. The issue is public and environmental interest in private entrepreneur interest. If we allowed such situations, we would allow the developer to continue the project and make even more profit, it would be a completely unacceptable precedent,” lawyer Arnis Priediņš assessed.

So far, it has not yet been decided what to do with the sawn-off oak.

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