Central Village shopping complex near Suvarnabhumi airport faces inquiry – scheduled to open next Saturday
24 August 2019
Deputy Interior Minister Songsak Thongsri will gather information to clarify doubts over a claim that the construction of a 5-billion-baht international outlet called Central Village may not comply with town planning laws.
The shopping complex, located near Suvarnabhumi airport, is scheduled to open next Saturday, despite questions over whether its 100-rai or 40,000-square-metre compound illegally sits on a “green zone”, or an agricultural area where large buildings are prohibited.
Central Pattana Plc (CPN), which owns Central Village, denied the alleged legal violation, insisting that it has followed all of the legal steps required by the current town planning law to build the new department store.
“Once I visit the site, I’ll get clearer information,” said Mr Songsak, who oversees the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning.
The town planning law only allows for the construction of buildings on 2,000 sq m and their total area must not exceed 10% of the green zone, which is in this case listed as “Ko 1-10” type of land, he said.
The deputy minister is undecided over whether the claim has grounds as according to an initial inspection, buildings in Central Village are “not sizeable” and the project developer had asked permission from authorities before starting construction.
Mr Songsak has told town planning officials to discuss the legal aspects of the issue with members of Samut Prakan’s local administrative bodies, including the Bang Chalong tambon administration organisation, which allowed CPN to make use of the area.
“I expect to see the outcome of the talks within one month,” he said, stressing that he must ensure fair treatment.
The controversy intensified recently, when Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT), which runs Suvarnabhumi airport, rejected a request by CPN to lay a water pipe close the airport’s compound.
According to a letter addressed to the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority’s Suvarnabhumi office, the main reason for the rejection was because Central Village’s legality was still in question.
The letter was signed by AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn. Deputy Bang Phli police chief Pol Lt Col Damrongsak Chandi said the land issue has escalated to the point that the AoT put up a tent to block the project’s development in an “aviation zone”.