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Phuket's Rawai Mayor waiting on ‘express instructions’ from court for Eva Beach

PHUKET: Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos has told The Phuket News that he will not take any action against the Eva Beach condo project until he receives express instructions from the court.

property, construction, environment,


The Phuket News

Wednesday 9 August 2017, 07:14PM


The news follows the regional Administrative Court in Nakhon Sri Thammarat handing down a verdict last Tuesday (Aug 1) in which it found Rawai Municipality guilty of neglecting to perform its duties in upholding building and environmental regulations and illegally issuing building permits specifically in relation to the construction of the Eva Beach project. (See story here.)

“I am waiting for the judgement details to be sent this week. Only then will I order public works officials to issue an order for the offending structures to be removed, which will then be handed to Property Phuket Eva Group Co Ltd,” Mayor Aroon told The Phuket News.

After the notice is issued, the developer will have 30 days to remove the offending structures, he added.

“If they delay in doing that, we will have the choice of either removing the structures ourselves of have a court order issued to them do it,” Mayor Aroon said.

“We have to uphold our responsibility, if we don’t not we might face complaints about us not performing our duties,” he explained.

“But we have to educate people and be as careful about the Building Act as we can; building regulations can change anytime,” Mayor Aroon added.

The Phuket News has yet to be able to contact any persons at Property Phuket Eva Group for comment, or for confirmation the company will appeal the ruling.

A call to the main contact number posted on its Google listing was answered by a woman who denied any relationship with the company.

“This number is not Property Phuket Eva Group… it is Sivita’s number,” the woman said before hanging up.

Meanwhile, The Phuket News has been unable to access any of the company’s main websites – thai-evagroup.com, phuket-eva.com and evabeach.com – since the news of the court ruling became public.

Attempts to access the first two (click here and here) returned the error message, “This account has been suspended. Either the domain has been overused, or the reseller ran out of resources.”

Attempts to access evabeach.com (click here) returned the message, “This site can’t be reached… evabeach.com’s server DNS address could not be found.”

However, Bill Barnett, well-known property expert in Phuket and Managing Director and Founder of leading hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks, has cautioned that the court ruling must be “put into perspective”.

“It’s important to put this case perspective and understand the due process in terms of appeal will occur and that outcome remains uncertain,” Mr Barnett told The Phuket News by email.

“That said, clearly the case highlights the need for the government to review the guidelines in the Building Control Act and there is the opportunity to more clearly define ocean set backs which in many cases are subject to interpretation and potential abuse.

“While the case has created widespread interest, it’s important to understand the scale of the real estate industry in Phuket and that this is an isolated case and not indicative of the entire sector.”

 

 

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J Cunningham | 09 August 2017 - 21:24:04

As Mr. Barnett suggests it would not be unusual for this case to be appealed. However, it should be noted that this is not a case where a jury or even a judge listened to prosecutors and defendants and then made a ruling. This case was researched by the court for just over 6 years. The court sent their own experts to Phuket to see for themselves...to take measurements and to watch the tide come in. The facts are not in dispute and apparently neither is the law. In fact, that was the defense the EVA developer tried using "The Law is not Clear" defense....and see where it got them. I strongly disagree with Mr. Barnett....there is nothing nebulous about the Environmental Laws that drove this ruling. It is wishful thinking on the part of Developers, Hotel operators and quite a few seafront property owners to think so.       

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