BackStories » Vietnam » Da Nang Officials Suspend Construction of Unauthorized Resort on Son Tra Peninsula

Over the weekend, a tourism firm in Da Nang found itself in hot water as officials discovered the company’s Son Tra resort development was not legally authorized.

According to Thanh Nien, the Tien Sa Sea Resort is currently under construction on the shores of Tho Quang Ward on the Son Tra peninsula, however the company behind the development has not yet received a permit for such activity.

Over the weekend, Da Nang People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho showed up at the construction site to inspect it, the news outlet reports, finding foundations laid for 40 villas. However, city officials claim that while the firm behind Tien Sa had received permission to implement infrastructure projects in the area, it had not yet been granted a construction permit.

According to Chief Inspector Tran Van Dung of the Da Nang Department of Construction, the delay in construction permit approval was due to an ongoing environmental impact assessment (EIA), reports Thanh Nien.

Initially, the Tien Sa Sea Resort project began in 2009, however work on it stopped for a period of time before continuing in June 2016 when investors requested a full overhaul of the site plan, which was approved by the Da Nang People’s Committee.

Last month, however, the municipal government reviewed the resort’s new EIA and requested several changes and clarifications on the project. These issues, which included environmental concerns and the area’s lack of a water supply, were expressed to the investors, Le Quang Nam, head of Da Nang’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, told Thanh Nien.

As a result, city officials have halted construction on the project and are reviewing its shortcomings. Depending upon their findings, investors could be required to remove the project from the Son Tra peninsula altogether.

DTI reports the project is controversial among local Da Nang residents who have expressed their own environmental concerns, as Son Tra is a largely forested area home to rare red-shanked douc langurs.

Recently, Da Nang officials pledged to make tourism a central focus of the coastal city’s development, reports VietnamNet. Last year, the city received 5.51 million visitors, bringing in VND16 trillion (US$702 million), according to the news outlet, citing the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Tran Thi Cuong, deputy director of the department, told VietnamNet the city aims to make tourism a leading sector of the economy from now until 2020, by which time officials hope to welcome 8 million visitors a year.

[Photo via Zing]

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