Huay Yai farming park accused of commercializing public land

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Banglamung authorities are investigating a newly opened tourist attraction in Huay Yai they claim is built illegally on public-grant land.
Banglamung authorities are investigating a newly opened tourist attraction in Huay Yai they claim is built illegally on public-grant land.

PATTAYA – Banglamung authorities are investigating a newly opened tourist attraction in Huay Yai they claim is built illegally on public-grant land.

Huay Yai Mayor Pairat Thraisupachok met April 9 with Banglamung District Chief Naris Niramaiwong to discuss the Suan Thai Pattaya project which opened April 1 on Highway 331.

He said his staffers investigated the farming-themed attraction and determined the 150 rai used was listed as “40-1” property, which was granted to poor farmers decades ago under the stipulation it could not be developed into a commercial business.

Reporters spoke to Suan Thai’s owner, who only gave his name as Vichai, and confirmed that his father procured the land 50 years ago and built a farm upon it, growing tapioca, coconuts and durian.

However, after the family patriarch died, ownership of the property became the center of a family conflict with his sisters and brothers appealing the government’s later ruling it was a 40-1 parcel and one brother filing a police complaint over ownership in 1989.

He said recently several siblings agreed together to turn the family farm into a tourist attraction, selling off 70 rai to finance building on the other 80 rai.

Vichai insists the land is not 40-1 but instead classified as “C-1” which would allow the family to commercialize it. He claimed his family holds proper land deeds and is prepared to fight any effort to shut down his new park.