Sattahip resort ordered to close for land encroachment

PHOTO: A luxury resort in Sattahip was ordered to close due to encroachment on the Treasury Department's land. (via Bangkok Post)

A lesson that never seems to be learned time and time again in Thailand: if you’re breaking the law, maybe don’t advertise it on social media. A luxury resort in the Sattahip district of Chon Buri has been ordered to close due to land encroachment after recently posted advertisements on social media for sea-view rooms.

Star Over Sea received the order from the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) to suspend operations after allegations of illegal encroachment on state land. The resort, located on a hilltop overlooking the sea, consists of six modified shipping containers, each with a swimming pool. Its ads online brought attention to questions about its legality.

The resort had been warned by RTN officers on August 18 last year to stop operating since the land it was located on belongs to the Treasury Department. Authorities say the notification was ignored.

Ads on Facebook offered the resort’s large pool villas for 15,000 baht per night on weekdays and 16,500 baht per night on weekends. Those social media advertisements prompted the RTN to take legal action against the resort.

Yesterday the commander of the Sattahip naval base brought a team to tambon Samae San. A caretaker was present but did not have any documentation about the legality of the resort. The group of police, local leaders, and officials found no documents to support legal land occupation or any construction permit.

They informed the caretaker of the encroachment charges and the RTN has assigned a judge advocate to file a complaint against the resort operator for operating illegally on state land.

If convicted, the owner will be ordered to demolish all structures on the site.

Records revealed that in 2019, the developer filed for permission to rent and use the land that the RTN maintains. They requested to use it for housing and agricultural purposes. The permission request was never approved.

Then in August 2022, RTN officials found that six converted shipping containers had been installed at the site. They sent a cease and desist order asking for cooperation to suspend any development plan for the land.

The Samae San tambon administration organization confirmed that the resort owner had acknowledged RTN’s suspension order, effective immediately. Not a lot of detail was given about the owner, but officials confirmed it was someone from outside of Chon Buri who decided to start the resort after living in the area for a while.

Pattaya News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.