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Kamala hillside projects halted; others under investigation

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Kamala hillside projects halted; others under investigation | The Thaiger

KAMALA: A special adviser to the Minister for Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) on September 16 toured several sites in Kamala to inspect reports of encroachment and other building violations on projects there, as well as work on two hillside projects in the area that had already been ordered halted pending further investigation.

Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey toured the sites with a team including Monthon “Palad Rambo” Chartsuwan, Phuket Forestry Department Office chief Phobpol Sirilaksanapong and local authorities including members of the Kamala Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor).

The tour follows an aerial inspection by Gen Intarat in July and a complaint by the MNRE Phuket office head, Aongart Chanachanmongkol, who alleged that two private real estate projects were being built above 80 meters.

Construction of permanent structures above that height has been forbidden in Phuket since 1996, when the MNRE put the measure in place to prevent deforestation, flooding and landslides.

Work on 15 structures that are part of the “Parisa” project on Naka Lay Rd in Kamala Village 6 was ordered to halt, along with 11 more at the Cape Sol project, also in Village 6, said Gen Intarat.

A subsequent investigation of the sites will determine whether they are in violation of the 80m restriction. The investigation will also check whether the sites occupy a slope exceeding 35% across the entire site, which is also illegal, he said.

The land title deeds for the property would also be investigated, he added.

“I worry that local investors will be cheated or persuaded to invest in projects being built on land for which land title deeds were illegally issued,” he said.

Some 4,000 plots of land covered by Nor Sor 3 deeds issued in 2001 and 2002 are now under investigation, he said.

The titles were issued while fugitive former registrar of the Phuket Provincial Land Office Thawatchai Anukul was still in office.

The investigation would also check who granted the projects’ construction permission, he added.

Phuket Forestry Office chief Mr Phobpol confirmed that the title deeds for the Cape Paradise project in Patong are also under investigation. Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit signed the complaint authorizing the probe of the project, which occupies 92 rai of Nor Sor 3 Gor land along Tritrang Beach.

Many coastal sites in Koh Kaew have also come under scrutiny for potential encroachment on mangrove forests, he added.

Well-known projects in that area, including the Boat Lagoon and the Royal Phuket Marina, would be asked to cooperate in providing evidence in the form of title deeds and supporting documents, he said.

Similar requests would be made of the Loch Palm Golf Course in Kathu and another project at Kayae Beach in Kamala, he added.

Also being investigated for possible failure to comply with its Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE) approval is the Malaiwana luxury villa project south of Nai Thon Beach in Sakoo, Thalang, Mr Phobpol added.

Construction on one building at the project site was ordered halted on September 11, after Sakoo Village 4 headman Sompong Panyawai complained to Sakoo OrBorTor that heavy rains had caused exposed soil at the project site to slide across part of the Nai Thon-Layan road.

“We have received many complaints from non-governmental organizations that coastal property projects, including one Trisara property, are encroaching on public beaches,” Mr Sompong said.

Mr Phobpol asked for cooperation from owners of projects who had been the target of complaints and assured them that they would be treated fairly.

Many Thai observers believe that a number of land investigations over the past few years have been driven more by politics than genuine doubts as to the authenticity of documents or the integrity of other aspects of development projects.

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Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta

The Thaiger & The Nation



Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | The Thaiger

Hermès has opened of its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta, the newly opened lifestyle shopping destination in the heart of the island, opposite Central Festival.

As Hermès’ first venture outside the Thai capital, the new Hermès Phuket store makes a significant statement of expansion and confidence in the market. The new address in this world-renowned island will allow the growing population of local residents, along with domestic and international tourists, to discover the abundant variety of Hermès métiers and savoir-faire.

Designed by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, the elegant 172 m² retail space is located by the shopping centre’s main entrance and benefits from a double exposure with an exterior and an interior façade.

A bamboo claustra follows the line of the mall’s exterior glass, filtering the daylight that bathes the indoor space, and further illustrates Hermès’ high regard for local craftsmanship. The interior façade is composed of a refined lacquered metal, featuring a large window display, complemented by four recesses with illuminated silk scarves.

Upon entering the store, visitors are welcomed by the House’s ex-libris and signature Grecques lights, designed for Hermès in 1925. The store is decorated with natural and local materials – bamboo floors and claustra, cognac toned Cherrywood walls, toffee coloured silk and fibre fabrics – tastefully blending various elements of Thai culture and modern architecture. The soft colour palette evokes the sand and the sun in their various shades, providing a delightfully serene and convivial atmosphere.

The overall volume is divided into two main areas by the feminine silk grid facing the entrance. The first one, with the iconic Faubourg pattern mosaic floor, allows guests to explore the silk, fashion jewellery, fragrance, art of living, and equestrian departments.

Opposite the leather goods display, an intimate space invites guests to uncover the watch and jewellery collections. Further along, one can discover the women and men’s universes. A sand coloured carpet on the floor outlines the area dedicated to the shoe collections, enriched by a delicate custom-made bamboo light module as the ceiling centrepiece.

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger

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Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket

The Thaiger



Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket | The Thaiger

Phuket police have arrested and are questioning the driver of a red sedan following Friday’s incident on Thepkasattri Road in Srisoonthorn where he appeared to wave a gun out of his driver’s window (video in the link below).

Manop Sangpal was tracked down by police but they’ve confirmed that Mr Manop’s ‘gun’ was just a BB gun, not a firearm.

The video of the man driving the red sedan and waving the ‘gun’ out of the driver’s window spread around social media on Friday afternoon after a driver following recorded the incident and posted it.

Read the story and see the video below…

Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

On the video the red Ford sedan cuts in front of the car with the dashcam then veers to the left lane while the driver waves the gun out of his window near Wat Srisoonthorn.

Police say Mr Manop was arrested at lunchtime yesterday (Saturday) in a workers camp in Soi Sukapibal where he lives with his Burmese wife and family.

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Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast – all clear

The Thaiger



Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast – all clear | The Thaiger

An advisory was sent out last night about two earth tremors registering 5.0 and 5.2 magnitude centered on the Andaman Islands, 620 kilometres north west of Phuket.

The National Disaster Warning Centre sent out an advisory to Governors of six Andaman Coast provinces to be on alert for tsunami warnings and more earthquake activity.

There has been no tsunami activity registered along the Andaman coastlines.

Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast - all clear | News by The Thaiger

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