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The Peaks Residences reduced to rubble

PHUKET: The Peaks Residences, ruled by the Supreme Administrative Court as illegally occupying protected forest land at Kata Noi, on Phuket’s southwest coast, has been demolished.

landconstructioncorruptiontourismnatural-resources
By The Phuket News

Friday 17 December 2021, 11:59AM


The demolition began on Sept 13, confirmed Sarayut Wasinanon, an engineer at Karon Municipality.

The court ordered the company to remove all structures and restore the site to its original condition within one year, Mr Sarayut confirmed.

“But the company submitted documents to inform [the municipality] that it will take time, within 180 days. The demolition is expected to be finished in February 2022,” he said.

“If there are any problems, the company can request to extend the time for the demolition since it is expected to take about one year of demolition,” he added.

The demolition has proceeded swiftly. All the major buildings that were under construction at the site have been reduced to rubble.

The project was promoted to feature 435 units in 23 buildings, though the project masterplan showed that the site was to feature more than 46 separate structures.

Unit prices started at B5.5 million apiece, giving the completed project a base value of B2.39 billion. Previous estimates of the completed and sold-out project including a resort were tabled at around B30bn.

Developer Kata Beach Co Ltd is covering all costs of the demolition and removal of the rubble that now remains, Mr Sarayut confirmed.

Karon Municipality is not providing any of the funds or support to remove the buildings. “The full cost is paid by the company,” he said.

There have been no issues with the demolition of any of the buildings, Mr Sarayut added.

However, Mr Sarayut noted that Karon Municipality is responsible for only the removal of the buildings.

The restoration of the area to its original state, including the planting of trees, is the responsibility of the Department of Lands and Royal Forest Department, he said.

Manassanan Nararattanawee, CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, in February last year went public to assure investors that his company would “take care” of people who have already paid deposits for units.

He also explained that some buyers had agreed to have their monies transferred to take units at another project at Surin Beach.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruling was handed down in December last year.

Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka, who also serves as the Chairman of the House Committee for Law, Justice and Human Rights, travelled to Phuket to personally hand a formal “request” to the Phuket Provincial Government to ensure that the Supreme Administrative Court’s order is fulfilled.

Present to receive the request was Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong.

Mr Sira has spearheaded a campaign against construction of The Peaks Residences after he received death threats for conducting a preliminary investigation into the project after receiving a formal complaint from the public.

MP Sira has repeatedly vowed to take action against all officials found to have been involved in illegally issuing official documents related to The Peaks condo project.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruling last year found that the land deed presented by Kata Beach Co Ltd had been issued illegally, and that Karon Municipality had illegally issued the building permit for the project.

“I will keep investigating people who commit wrongdoing, especially the officers at Karon Municipality who issued the construction permit and those who issued the title deed,” Mr Siri said on national television in announcing the court ruling last December.

“The House Committee for Law, Justice and Human Rights will continue to follow up on the progress of these issues,” he said.

The investigation into The Peaks began in 2018, when Cheewapap Cheewatham, a former Chief of Sirinath National Park who also defied death threats for acting against illegal occupiers of state land in the national park, received a complaint on behalf of the Royal Forest Department.

That investigation saw Lt Gen Kittisak Boonsuk, Deputy Director of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Operations Coordination Center 4, leading a team of military officers from Bangkok to Phuket in March to inspect the site.

During that visit Gen Kittisak confirmed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered an investigation into the project.

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Timothy | 19 December 2021 - 11:22:19

Next please demolish Trisara, Landstate, Pullman, Le Colline, Andaman White, and all the others mentioned a hundred times in news reports and "investigations" over the past 15 years. 

Kurt | 19 December 2021 - 09:45:38

Khun MaAnn is gone, but during his many years regency he created a certain 'governance culture'. That culture not left together with MaAnn. The visible results will remain long time with us in/around Layan.  In Kata and Kathu are the same problems. Illegal doings by Municipalities.

CaptainJack69 | 18 December 2021 - 11:29:33

Great news. There are some people in this country who actually care about it.

Shame they're not made to put the trees back.

There's another huge swathe of land been cleared above Kathu waterfall road going right up into the 'protected' forest. These sites are everywhere. The Peaks is a good start. Lets keep going.

Nasa12 | 18 December 2021 - 10:19:52

This it’s good news, then they can also start to demolish the ugly hotel/ apartment close to fire station in Kata. They building in mountain at 70 ++ slope. 

christysweet | 18 December 2021 - 09:49:02

And the projects built within Sirinart Nat'l Forest Reserve up in Layan? The construction debris dump in a wetland whose owner threatened me when I complained about the burning ?  Cherng-telay must be keeping up with the envelopes to Bangkok. 

Timothy | 18 December 2021 - 08:59:11

Meanwhile at Layan, all the illegal bars and restaurants are still there,  with a few more added recently. MaAnn may be gone but the corruption in Chengtalay continues it seems. If they actually took care of the areas that they are illegally occupying I doubt anyone would complain, BUT they don't. Garbage all over. Piles of empty beer bottles and plastic. Plastic shacks for staff...

 

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