Sattahip resort closed pending encroachment probe
Navy issues order while officials investigate whether operator had permission to rent state land
published : 10 Mar 2023 at 18:22
writer: Chaiyot Pupattanapong
CHON BURI: The Royal Thai Navy has ordered a luxury resort in Sattahip district to suspend operations for allegedly encroaching on state land.
The order came after recent advertisements on social media for sea-view rooms attracted some questions online about whether the Star Over Sea resort was legally built.
Vice-Adm Suthin Laicharoen, commander of the Sattahip naval base, on Friday led police, local leaders and officials to inspect the resort in tambon Samae San. The initial inspection found there were neither documents to support legal land occupation nor any construction permit.
A navy judge advocate has been assigned to file a complaint with Sattahip police against the resort operator for illegally encroaching on state land. If convicted, the owner would be ordered to demolish all structures on the site.
During the inspection, one woman, claiming to be a caretaker of the resort, was present. She was unable to produce any documents. Officials notified her about the land encroachment charges.
The Star Over Sea Facebook page quotes room rates of 15,000 baht per night for large villas that can house up to four people. Located on a hilltop overlooking the sea, it features six modified containers, each with a swimming pool.
The large pool villas at the Star Over Sea resort in Sattahip rent for 15,000 baht a night on weekdays and 16,500 baht a night on weekends. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
According to the navy’s records, permission was sought on Nov 7, 2019 to rent the state land under the care of the navy for housing and agricultural purposes. The real estate division of the Sattahip naval base sent a letter to a resort caretaker on Aug 18 last year to seek cooperation to suspend any development plan for the land.
The letter was sent after officials from the division found six cargo containers had been installed at the site even though permission to rent the land had not yet been approved.
Akkhaset Raksakulsongsa, deputy chairman of the Samae San tambon administration organisation (TAO), said the resort owner had already acknowledged the navy’s suspension order, which took effect immediately.
The name of the resort owner was not given. Mr Akkhaset would only say that the person was someone from outside of Chon Buri who had stayed in tambon Samae San for a certain period before deciding to get into the resort business.
One of the space capsule-style rooms at the resort. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)