Developers in Khao Tao Reservoir protection area

Hua Hin 28th August 2008. During past few years Hua Hin has expanded with a breath taking speed. Prices of beach land have sky rocketed and foreign developers have turned their interest to the beautiful Khao Tao Reservoir area which has been designated as King's project. Khao Tao Reservoir is located near the Queen Sirikit’s residence. 

From a recent survey Hua Hin Municipality staff has found that there have been some “Land for Sale” signs in English around the reservoir. Local Thai resident said that some pieces of land have been already filled up and are ready for building of housing projects for foreigners. Hua Hin Municipality is very concerned that if nothing is done the beautiful panorama of Khao Tao Reservoir is going to disappear. 

According to the research, it was found that this area was identified as “area 1” according to Hua Hin City Planning Law 1997. This law was extended for 2 years (2003/2004). This planning law has expired and the new is being drafted and will be put to vote. The “area 1” has been designated for rural preservation and agriculture.

Clause 12 says that land is designated for rural preservation, agricultural purposes or other purposes concerning agriculture, governmental institutes and infrastructural uses. Only 5% of this area can be used for other purpose. The following are not allowed in this area:

Housing (not commercial purposes or industries)

All types of factories

Storing dangerous materials as per Storing of Dangerous Material Law

For refilling of all types of gases

Silo for agricultural products

Graveyards or crematoriums

Garbage disposal

Selling or buying of materials

From the Clause 12 (above) it is clear that the Khao Tao Reservoir area has been designated for conservation and agriculture and only 5% is allowed for residential housing. According to documents available at Hua Hin Municipality, this area is called “block 6” with the total area of 300,000 sq.m. This means that only 15,000 sq.m. is allowed for residential housing (not commercial purposes). The Ministerial Law 1992 issue 36 (Kor for area 1) says that any types of buildings are not allowed, except;

1. One story building which is not higher than 6 meters, with the total area of 75 sq.m.
2. There must be 4 meters space between buildings on the same piece of land
3. There must be 12 meters space from neighbors building. 
4. 75% of the land on which the house or building is located must free of any build.
5. House or building must be 20 meters from beaches or 12 meters from Khao Tao Reservoir's bank. 

That means that there can be maximum 50 houses in this specially designated area. The last survey indicates that the number of houses in the area has reached the maximum number of houses specified by the law. That means that anyone attempting to build house in area 1 will be in breach of the law.

After the City Planning Law has expired in 2006, pieces of land around Khao Tao Reservoir have become very expensive. Sellers of the land in area 1 tell potential buyers that they can build condominiums or residential houses. We would like to advice any potential buyers of the land in the Khao Tao Reservoir to contact Hua Hin Municipality first and find out if they can build anything on the land they intend to buy.

Currently it is unclear when the new City Planning Law for Area 1 will be in place. One of the responsible Hua Hin Municipality officials insisted that the previous law must be used in the meantime until the new one will be in place. He added that the big concern is that the beautiful scenery may be destroyed and it will be very difficult to turn the clock back. Now it is unclear which law can be used, but the Municipality is able to relay on the Environment Control Law to keep potential developers at bay.

Khao Tao Reservoir

Reported by Khun Tuck Dechapanya

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