Interior Ministry probing legality of B5bn Central Village mall

Interior Ministry probing legality of B5bn Central Village mall

AoT challenges Central Pattana development

An artist's impression of Central Village luxury mall, beside Suvarnabhumi airport. The Interior Ministry is investigating its legality, which has been challenged by Airports of Thailand on issues including aviation safety. (Photo from Central Pattana Plc)
An artist's impression of Central Village luxury mall, beside Suvarnabhumi airport. The Interior Ministry is investigating its legality, which has been challenged by Airports of Thailand on issues including aviation safety. (Photo from Central Pattana Plc)

The Provincial Administration Department is investigating the legality of the construction of Central Village mall near Suvarnabhumi airport, which project owner Central Pattana insists is legitimate.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said at Government House on Tuesday that there might be a problem concerning city planning. It was under the jurisdiction of a local tambon administrative organisation (TAO) and the local district chief.

The airport operator, Airports of Thailand, has challenged the 184-rai luxury mall development, which it said could cause traffic congestion on roads to Suvarnabhumi, and that lighting in the area poses an aviation risk as it could confuse pilots during landing. It also alleges the developer lacked proper authorisation.

Gen Anupong said the interior permanent secretary has ordered the director-general of the Provincial Administration Department and the district chief concerned to determine the facts of the matter.

The mall is on the side of Highway 370, a road accessing the southern boundary of Suvarnabhumi airport, in tambon Bang Chalong of Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan.

"If the TAO finds the project legal, it should send a supporting report. But if it is not legal, there will be a further investigation and prosecution," Gen Anupong said.

The interior minister said he was awaiting the report from the TAO.

"It will include details of the construction application. The information must be reported as soon as possible," Gen Anupong said.

The project owner, Central Pattana Plc (CPN) said in a statement on Monday night it had developed the project legally over the past five years and had legitimate permission for the construction from the Highways Department, the Bang Chalong TAO and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand regarding the use of land and buildings and access to the highway in front of the project site and aviation safety.

The 5-billion-baht luxury mall had been scheduled to open this Saturday. The CPN statement said AoT had blocked the entrance last Thursday.

"The company is confident that the government can resolve the situation so that cooperation will lead to economic and tourism benefits for the country and national development, and about 170 shops and 1,000 employees can start as scheduled," the company stated.

AoT outlined its objections in letters to the Suvarnabhumi office of the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority and the Bang Chalong Tambon Administration Organisation in Samut Prakan. It also accuses the country’s biggest commercial property developer of lacking proper authorisation for the construction and the water pipeline network to serve the site.


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