China: Powerful Beijing doctor’s illegal structure tops them all

A view of the fake mountain and trees on top of the residential building in Beijing’s upscale Park View estate. Photo: Simon Song

A view of the fake mountain and trees on top of the residential building in Beijing’s upscale Park View estate. Photo: Simon Song

When it comes to illegal structures, a rooftop villa built by an eccentric Beijing resident on top of a 26-storey residential building puts Henry Tang’s wine cellar to shame.

Beijing‘s chengguan, or urban management, officials on Monday issued an ultimatum to a former government advisor, demanding he tear down the sprawling structure that he had built over the last six years on top of his top-floor flat.

The rooftop house features elaborate fake rocks, real trees and grass, and covers the entire top of the building. Parts of the structure look as if they could spill over the edge of the roof at any time.

The bizarre two-storey structure, located in a high-end residential compound called Park View in Beijing’s Haidian district, an area of government institutions and universities, has bothered the building’s residents for years. Local newspapers have identified the owner as Zhang Biqing, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and former member of a district People’s Political Consultative Conference who owns a national chain of acupuncture clinics.

Disturbed by constant noise from heavy construction machinery working on the roof, water leaks and worried about structural damage to the whole building, neighbours have complained repeatedly to the building management company, local urban management officials and even the police. The new ultimatum, published Monday evening on many local news sites, urges the owner to dismantle the structure himself within 15 days. Failure to comply would result in forcible demolition, it says.

When confronted earlier by reporters from local newspaper Beijing Morning News, Zhang, who sometimes identified himself as a professor, had said, “Since I dare to live here, I am not worried about complaints.

Famous people come to my place and sing. How can you stop them?” the newspaper quoted him as saying about the noise at night.

Some neighbours who had complained over the years suffered harrassment and threats from the owner, Zhang Biqing, local newspapers have reported. One 77-year-old man was beaten up several times by Zhang and eventually forced to move, it was reported. Police didn’t seem to have intervened.

The community’s property management office declined to comment and phone calls to the Haidian district urban management office went unanswered on Monday.

The “rooftop garden villa” might not be the only illegal construction in this community, Chinese netizens have found out.

Source: SCMP “Powerful Beijing doctor’s illegal structure tops them all”
 


Categories: Real Estate

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