THE CONSTRUCTION of the Aupark shopping mall at Štúrovo Square in downtown Žilina has started again, three weeks after a town court ordered the work be brought to a halt. That decision was overturned by the Žilina Regional Construction Office, with which the investor had filed an appeal, the Pravda daily wrote.
Town representatives said the court issued the order at the beginning of March because the Aupark Holding construction company had failed to submit necessary paperwork. A company named Aupark Žilina was originally granted the construction licences, but was prevented from continuing to work when it shifted responsibility for the construction to a filial company.
"The office's decision is just proof that Žilina did not follow the law in the fight against Aupark at Štúrovo Square, and tried to prevent its construction at any cost," said Želmíra Rácová, spokesperson for the HB Reavis developer. "This is the fourth of this court's decisions to be overturned on appeal."
The court's verdict was overturned before the town was allowed to submit a reply to the Regional Construction Office, Žilina spokesman Martin Barčík said.
"Therefore, we consider the Regional Construction Office's decision illegal and are considering taking appropriate action," Barčík said.
Barčík hinted that the decision may have been a result of the fact that the highest official at the construction office, Eugen Kozáček, had been head of the office that issued the licences to Aupark Holding.
The project at Štúrovo Square, which is worth Sk2 billion, began on July 3, 2007 despite protests. The construction should last for about two years.
Aupark Žilina will provide about 20,000 square metres of space for shops, restaurants, coffee bars, sporting facilities, places of relaxation and bank branches.