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Bangkok Condo – Condo Body Seeks EIA Exemptions

By on Apr 29, 2014 in Property News, Residential

Small projects could follow basic checklist

Prasert: Vows to streamline approvals

Prasert: Vows to streamline approvals

The Thai Condominium Association (TCA) is set to propose to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry that condo projects with a construction area of less than 10,000 square metres be exempt from conducting an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Newly elected president Prasert Taedullayasatit said the proposal, if approved, would help to reduce both the number of EIAs and the time it took for EIA consideration.

The TCA is drafting a checklist with clear regulations for condo projects with total construction area of less than 10,000 sq m or about eight storeys with 80 units to follow, as 90% of these kinds of buildings are similar in construction.

“With this checklist, condo projects with a total construction area of not more than 10,000 sq m can apply for a construction permit without an EIA. This will reduce waiting time for EIA approval as well as construction time. Eventually, condo prices may be 3-5% lower,” he said, adding that the checklist would start with Greater Bangkok.

Atip Bijanonda, president of the Housing Business Association, said there were always about 300 projects at any time queuing up to receive EIA approval, but there was only one committee considering them.

EIA consideration is also centralised in Bangkok, and there are only two weekly meetings of the EIA committee, with no more than 10 projects considered per meeting. Only one or two projects are approved on average, while the rest must be revised and reconsidered, making EIA application a very long process.

With Thailand’s mushrooming condominium development, notably in Bangkok, more and more projects already launched for sale have failed to win EIA approval.

The problem, which causes projects to be delayed or even scrapped entirely, has become common in recent years, forcing developers to return booking money and revise project designs. This also causes lost business opportunities, wastes time and hurts revenue targets.

When a condo project fails to receive EIA approval, it not only concerns developers and disappoints buyers but also worries other stakeholders including financial institutions and contractors.

Many banks now require a condo project to obtain EIA approval before any loan can be considered.

At the same time, contractors with more bargaining power due to a contractor shortage prefer to work on projects that have either already secured EIA approval or are scheduled to secure it within eight months.

For the full article, click here.

Source |  Bangkok Post 28 April 2014

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