China orders demolition of rock villa on high-rise roof

Owner Zhang Biqing: "It's not like the whole building is illegal"

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A Chinese man who built a rock-covered roof-top villa on top of a high-rise building has told the BBC he will comply with an order to demolish it.

The villa, surrounded by fake rocks but real trees and bushes, sits on top of a 26-storey building in Beijing.

State-run China Daily says it was built without the proper permissions.

Residents of the building have told Chinese media they fear the construction of the roof-top house has made the high-rise unsafe.

The owner and constructor, Zhang Biqing, told the Newshour programme on BBC World Service radio that the fake mountain was made of light materials including plastic and resin.

The construction is said to measure 800 sq metres (8,600 sq ft).

Mr Zhang said he had not built a permanent concrete attachment to the existing building. He admitted he had not obtained planning permission for a small sunroom, a few square metres in size.

Citing a statement from urban management officials in Haidian district, where the building is located, the newspaper China Daily said that government approval for the house had not been obtained and so a compulsory demolition order had been filed.

Mr Zhang rejected claims he was using his own wealth to circumvent building regulations.

He said he had borrowed "quite a lot" of money from the bank to do up his house. "I still owe the bank money. So it has nothing to do with the government, I don't have any deal with them in private. I'm not a princeling, so I don't need to speak for them."

Chen Yu, a deputy team leader from the city's administration and law enforcement agency, told media he placed a notice on the owner's door asking that the construction be removed by 27 August.

He said it would be demolished if the owner did not comply with the notice.

Newspaper reports said other residents in the tower block had complained that the villa had damaged pipes and the structural integrity of the building.

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