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New building code affects Phuket hillside projects



PHUKET: Phuket Natural Resources and Environmental officer Natthaporn Jarunkiatkhajorn has confirmed that tighter controls on building on hillside land in Phuket came into force on July 31, some two months earlier than expected.

“After we receive an official letter from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning Division in Bangkok, we will immediately send letters informing related organizations to recognize the new regulations,” Ms Natthaporn said.

The new regulations, gazetted on July 30 and brought into effect July 31, impose tougher measures aimed at constraining hillside development and ensuring that all new developments have at least the minimum mandated “green areas” reserved with no structures built upon them.

“Construction projects now must follow the new regulations. However, the new rules will not affect applications that have already been submitted and are currently being processed,” Ms Natthaporn said, adding that her office receives about 30 building applications each month.

The new rules allow structures to be built on gradients of up 50%, compared with 35% under the previous rules, but with a slew of tougher new conditions.

Structures on hillsides with gradients from zero to 20% are limited to eight meters in height, while those on gradients of 20% to 50% are limited is six meters.

Also, buildings on gradients between 20% and 35% must leave at least 70% of the total property area as “open space”.

Buildings on gradients more than 35%, must leave at least 75% of the total property area as “open space”, with at least half of the open space area maintained as a “green area”.

Regarding the size of the structures to be built, buildings on slopes of 20% to 35% gradient cannot be larger than 90 square meters and the area of the land must be at least 100 square wah.

Buildings on gradients of 35% to 50% must not be larger than 80sqm in size and the land area must be at least 120 wah.

While the above rules apply generally, building applications may also subject to additional requirements, notably depending on in which “zone” the plot is in and how far it is from the high-tide mark.

The Royal Thai Government Gazette of July 30 has a full list of all the requirements and conditions that now apply.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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