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Greater Phuket: Phang Nga hit by tough new zoning law



PHUKET: New ministerial regulations covering booming west coast areas in the south of Phang Nga aim to slow the number or new large-scale hotel and residential developments being built on prime oceanfront land in the area.

Areas affected by the new regulations include parts of Khok Kloy in Takua Thung District, just across the Sarasin Bridge from Phuket, as well as Natai Beach to the north in Tai Muang District.

The new regulations, published in the Royal Gazette on July 2, come under the Ministry of Interior’s Town and City Planning Ordinance provisions. They will be in force for at least five years.

The regulations classify all land in the areas into 10 zones:

Zone 1: Low-density residential zone;

Zone 2: Medium-density residential zone;

Zone 3: Commercial and high-density residential zone;

Zone 4: Rural and agriculture zone;

Zone 5: Open spaces for recreation and maintenance of environmental quality zone;

Zone 6: Forest Conservation zone;

Zone 7: Educational institution zone;

Zone 8: Open spaces for maintenance of environmental quality zone;

Zone 9: Religious institution zone; and

Zone 10: Government institution and public infrastructure zone.

The zones, referred to as “communities” in the regulations, see most beachfront land being designated as either forest conservation zones or for agricultural use, which limits any new projects to single housing units or government use.

Local property expert Bill Barnett explained, “Developers looking to build within the forest zone cannot execute residential or commercial subdivisions, except single units, or construct shophouses.”

Another key item are guidelines for “plot ratio”. These place an emphasis on low-density development with green areas required. Depending on the zone designation, these range from 15% to 40% of each parcel.

“The spectacular rise in oceanfront land values just over the bridge from the island, in what has become known as Greater Phuket, had been pegged for international-style hotels and luxury villa properties.

“Looking forward, the new regulations could constrain unchecked real estate price escalation and push development back to Phuket or into Khao Lak, which is not covered under the zoning provisions,” said Mr Barnett.


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