Club Med appears to sit on a 16 hectare site. Which part of the resort is this 39 rai?
Kata-Karon officials yesterday threatened public protests if the lease for the Club Med resort located on 39 rai (6.2 hectares) of public land along the Kata beachfront is renewed.
The 30-year lease, which began in 1985, will expire on September 24 next year (2015).
“For 30 years we have been waiting for the contract to expire,” said Kamnan Winai Chidchiew, who led a delegation of 10 Kata and Karon officials to file the petition at the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) office yesterday morning.
“We do not want the PPAO to renew the contract for the Holiday Villages (Thailand) Co, Ltd, also known as Club Med Phuket.”
The application to renew the contract must be filed at least 30 days before the contract expires. Holiday Villages (Thailand) has applied to renew the contract, explained PPAO Vice President Chawalit Na Nakorn.
“If you want us to have a public feedback hearing before we make a decision, we can do that,” Mr Chawalit said.
Kamnan Winai argued that the land could be better used for the benefit of residents.
“This land could be a beach zone for tourists and local people. We could build a public park here, or set up an exhibition that would help preserve local culture,” he said.
The lease began on September 25, 1985, and requires Holiday Village (Thailand) to pay rent and donations to the PPAO and Karon Municipality. The rent of 5,982 baht has not changed, but the amount of donations has increased incrementally over the course of the lease.
In 1985, the yearly donation to the PPAO was 650,000 baht and to Karon Municipality 250,000 baht, with an additional 100,000 baht to be used for Kata Beach maintenance. The donation to the PPAO is now three million baht and to the Karon Municipality, 650,000 baht; the cost of Kata Beach maintenance remains at 100,000, Mr Chawalit said.
In the lease, Holiday Village (Thailand) also agreed to finance various public works, including the construction of a road, beachfront sidewalk, two parking lots, public bathrooms and changing rooms, and the purchase and remodeling of a school.
The meeting yesterday to consider the renewal of the contract was postponed, as PPAO President Paiboon Upatising was in Bangkok.
“I will consider the petition and raise your concerns in the meeting. We have to look after the interest of the majority. If they don’t want us to renew the contract, then, for sure, President Paiboon won’t do it.” Mr Chawalit said.