Kathu concrete factory scrapped

KATHU: Construction of a controversial Siam Cement concrete factory in a residential area of Kathu has been scrapped following objections by local residents.

Montri Promrit, chief of Kathu Municipality Public Works and Town & Country Planning Division, told the Gazette that Siam Cement bought about two rai of land on Phra Phuket Kaew Rd in Kathu in 2005 and leveled the ground in July this year.

A building permit was issued by Kathu Municipality as the area is zoned for industrial activity.

However, construction could proceed only if it did not adversely affect local residents, he said.

“After we received several complaints from the residents regarding dust, noise and other problems, we filed a complaint to Phuket Provincial Public Works and Town & Country Planning Office – because construction started without a public hearing,” K. Montri said.

“On July 25, representatives from Siam Cement came to Phuket to meet residents in the area, Kathu Mayor Prasert Khaokitpaisarn and myself,” K. Montri said.

After discussions, Siam Cement decided to comply with the order from Kathu Municipality to stop construction and is now searching for an alternative site, he said.

Local resident Peter Garrett, who has lived in the nearby Chalekeree housing estate for 12 years, earlier told the Gazette that the development of large residential projects in the area like The Heritage and The Valley clearly show that the area’s future lies in residential development, not heavy industry.

Clearing of the land had caused topsoil to blow into the sky, causing air pollution in the local community as well as noise. The problems would have increased after the factory went into production, he said.

Phuket News
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