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12/05/2010 - Phuket changes environmental laws  12/05/2010 - Phuket changes environmental laws

A change to current environmental regulations is likely to have a substantial impact on future development in Phuket when it comes into force in October 2010.  

The Thai government is currently reviewing exisiting environmental guidelines which are set to expire on September 30th this year.  A draft of these guidelines has been reviewed by leading law firm, Baker and McKenzie, who have released the following comments;

Land 40m to 60m above sea level

Current law states - It is permitted to build a structure of no more than 8m in height on inclines not exceeding 35%

The revision permits buildings of no more than 6m in height on inclines of less than 20% and on inclines between 20% and 50% only detached properties or buildings of less that 6m in height are permitted.

Open spaces

Current law states - if the incline is less than 35%, an open area of not less than 40% of the total land area must be provided.

The revision states -  on inclines of 20 to 35%, an open area of 70% must be maintained while for inclines of 35% to 50%, 75% most be kept open.

Baker McKenzie expect final guidelines to be issued within the next few months.

The proposed changes could have significant impact on the building of ocean view condominium projects as much of the ocean view land in Phuket has inclines which exceed 35%; under the new regulations these will no longer be permitted.

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