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Land between the Peninsula and Nai Yang beach is public, investigators rule

Phuket Titles Declared Legal for Derelict Resort in Parkland Probe

Thursday, July 24, 2014
PHUKET: The Peninsula Spa and Resort, close to Phuket's Nai Yang beach, has been found to be erected on legal land titles, the Land Department announced yesterday.

However, a strip of land between the resort and the beach was declared to be public parkland - even though the narrow strip totalling half a rai was purchased for 25 million baht to enable guests at the resort to easily reach the beach.

The person who sold the public strip of land for 25 million baht is now believed to be living in the US, according to the Director of Phuket's Sirinath National Park.

If the resort is ever completed, guests will have to travel quite some distance around the parkland strip to reach the beach.

The Peninsula is one of 14 cases of alleged encroachment that formed Phase I of an investigation begun two years ago by Damrong ''The Demolisher'' Pidech, who was then the Director General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Those cases and other cases in subsequent phases involve a total of 2700 rai allegedly encroached upon from the park in 369 titles.

The future of two luxury resorts, award-winning luxury villa projects and planned developments hinge on the outcome of the investigations, which have been sped up on the orders of the military's National Peace and Order Council.

Work on the Peninsula, across 6.30 rai, ceased about 10 years ago.

Comments

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Two questions:

1. What is the name of the person who sold the public strip of land?

2. When the resort is completed, why can't the guests walk across the strip of public parkland to get to the beach?

Posted by Smithy on July 24, 2014 19:30

Editor Comment:

It's a very steep strip and mostly rock - about a 70 or 80-degree gradient, risky to climb. The resort was planning to chisel a stairway to the sand.

As the claims are not proven in a court of law, we can't reveal the name of the person.

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Prior to that building project, I remember that there was a small public road that went past the Aramas Resort and then continued along to a small Thai restaurant. My understanding is that the owner of the Thai restaurant sold out to the Peninsula project, thus also blocking access to the continuation of that small but public road as it went up the headland hill.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on July 24, 2014 19:50

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The person who sold the land is probably a landed immigrant in the U.S. by now, and will keep the 25 million baht, so they are "scot-free" in this regard, and probably not Scottish either, but thrifty as hellll.

Posted by farang888 on July 24, 2014 21:20

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Good news a conclusion has been reached. As this project is "dead" then reputation might not be so important but for all those currently under investigation that are being continually named and shamed, it seems a little unfair, at least they should be proven wrong first surely? When (if) they are proven wrong, then they should be named and shamed from the highest hilltops!

Posted by Duncan on July 25, 2014 08:38

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This hotel was at one point about 80% complete. I visited the site many times. Most of the rooms were already fitted with hardwood floors, nice ceramic tile,Built-in furniture, plumbing fixtures etc. There was also piles of materials stock piled at the site. I often wondered what would become of it. Then, one day, the locals started coming to help themselves. First, just a few guys with salengs. Later it was like the Ship Breakers in Bangladesh. Twenty or more guys with cutting torches and crowbars and trucks. They ripped out everything of value and destroyed what was left. If this land is now declared legal I really feel sorry for the developers.

Posted by Tim on July 25, 2014 08:42

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As the Peninsula Spa and Resort is in so badly state, it would be better that DNP buy back the land from the owner and restore it as forest.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on July 25, 2014 09:33

Editor Comment:

But it's not parkland, WB, and the price would be ridiculous, with no real gain on a steep headland. If by chance any of the resorts in question are deemed to be in national parkland, my advice would be to continue running them and to put the profit to good use in preserving the environment. No gain in pulling them down.

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@ ???d,
In France we have the "Conservatoire du littoral" (http://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/) and they get budgets from the french Government to buy back all lands and buildings built to close of the shoreline.

"Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Thailand)" which is the same may get budget and well the "Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation" to correct what was wrong in right by buying private islands, buildings and lands close of the shoreline.

For sure it would take years but it worth to plan it for the future generation.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on July 25, 2014 13:29

Editor Comment:

France has money for those kinds of projects but I guess the original designers of the park considered whether they needed this particular section and decided it wasn't essential. If it was a flat, useable piece of land, maybe. But it's not.

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Not so interesting who sold the land strip, more interesting who converted it into a sellable piece of land that could be transferred from one entity to another...obviously staff at the land office were involved, but who was it and who had the first name at the land document ?

Posted by Sailor on July 27, 2014 14:36


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