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Developer builds 25 Villas on shopping mall roof

Sticking it to the man is all well and good, but it can backfire. Spare a thought for a developer who built 25 villas on the roof of a shopping mall in Hunan province without government approval. Because who needs government approval when you're a maverick housing developer?

Turns out, he does. He will not be allowed to sell any of the properties.

The villas, which cover approximately 20,000 square meters of Wings Housing Plaza in Hengyang, have been under threat of demolition. The city government has since ruled that the villas can remain but must not be sold.

The villas were built in 2009 atop the four-story construction materials and furniture mall, according to blog posts last week by Chinese netizens on China's version of Twitter.

Each villa has a blue roof and yellow exterior paint. Most have large porches and cement yards divided by white picket fences dotted with bushes. Even after construction was completed, the developer did not apply for a construction project planning license and a sales permit from the local government.

"The houses are now dormitories for our employees. Some migrant workers who took part in the villas construction are also living in them," Wang Jianxin, the developers general manager, told the Morning Herald.

"A construction expert said that if there is any structural change to a large building, the developer must have architects survey the structure and calculate the load that could be supported by the building. If the plazas structure is proved strong enough to hold the villas, then they will not have to be demolished."

Images: Rex