Zoning shift for Natai Beach spurs hope
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Zoning shift for Natai Beach spurs hope

Based on its proximity to Phuket and its airport, Natai Beach is poised to become an international tourist destination, with several property developers ready to start their projects once a new town plan comes into effect.

Sombat Jindapol, chief executive of the Khok Kloi Subdistrict Administrative Organization, said there would be significant changes in the new town plan of Khok Kloi-Thai Muang in Phangnga.

"The changes will include the colour of zoning for areas along Natai Beach from green, which is for rural and agricultural areas, to green and white diagonals, which indicates a rural and agricultural conservation zone," he said.

This means land development regulations will become stricter, but will allow development for tourism purposes, said Mr Sombat.

"The change in zoning will benefit local communities as it can minimise excessive land development and investments," he said.

"With more restrictions, land prices are expected to increase and new property projects will likely be limited to high-end segments."

Mr Sombat says land development regulations for the beach will become stricter, which should benefit communities.

A limited number of high-end tourists can also help prevent the destruction of the environment and marine resources at Natai Beach, benefiting the local communities in the long run, said Mr Sombat.

Stretching for roughly 10 kilometres, Natai Beach is the closest beach in Phangnga to Phuket and its airport.

It is only 7km away from the Phuket border and 28km, or a 30-minute drive, from the island's airport.

Property development on Natai Beach by non-locals began around 1992, said Mr Sombat, who was born in the area and has been chief executive of the organisation since 2012.

"The first developers were foreigners who built gigantic villas for personal use, eventually renting them out as the location became more well-known among a niche group of foreign tourists," he said.

Hotel development emerged in the area in 2005, with Aleenta as the first project. Most of the developments targeted foreign tourists.

"Almost 20 years ago, the beachfront land was priced at only 5 million baht per rai, rising to 15 million baht in 2012," said Mr Sombat.

"At present, the offering price has gone up to 30-40 million baht per rai, and even 50 million baht for a small-sized plot."

Since 2012, there have been three to four rounds of land transfers on Natai Beach, he said.

Some 90% of landowners in the area are property developers, mostly listed firms, with the remaining 10% locals.

"Around 40% of land along Natai Beach has been developed, with five upscale hotels in operation," Mr Sombat said.

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