Dear The Phuket News. There’s been a lot of confusion on what the actual rules and regulations are for building permanent and non permanent structures in Phuket. I am looking to build my dream home either on a hill, or not too far from the beach, but am unsure what the exact requirements are. What do I need to consider? I’ve got an idea in mind but can’t make any further plans until I know what I am dealing with. Please could you help me with the following questions? Any help would be appreciated – Graham, Kamala
Q: How close to the beach can my dream home be?
A: The distance must be more than 20 metres from the average high tide and the area must be uncovered with 75 per cent of green space, with the building less than six metres in height.
Q: If I wanted to build my house up on a hill overlooking fabulous views of the ocean, what are the restrictions for height?
A: It depends on the height of the hill and site. If it’s more than 80 metres above sea level, then it is prohibited. There is also a slope specification too.
Q: What about if I wanted to build a basement in my house?
A: The basement is considered as a part of the building, so you need to check the building code for max height of the overall building.
Q: Would I be able to have a house next to a lake in Phuket?
A: Yes, you can but it must be outside of the distance specified (30 metres)
Q: When building a new house, what are the specification about managing toilet waste?
A: According to the law, you must have a waste treatment system, a readymade septic tank, for example. The size depends on the number of the residents and amount of waste. However, if your house is close to a lake or near a water resource, the cesspit must have a manhole that is at least 30 metres away from the water area. Please check with your local municipality.
Q: Do non permanent structures (container office or modular home) need to be registered?
A: No, they don’t. Because they can be moved and are considered temporary structures.
Q: Am I able to extend or build for example a shed, in my own garden? Will I need a building permit?
A: With regards to extending or building on private land, all municipalities from Kathu, Patong City, Karon, Rawai, Chalong and Cherng Talay require one to obtain a permit for any new construction / extension projects, irregardless of the size. If you are not sure, call your local municipality first for confirmation about specific codes and requirements.”
Information from Office of Natural Resources and Environment. and local municipality offices