Golf courses hit rough

October 03, 2010 | 21:19
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“All entertainment, cultural and sports-related projects in the city are not allowed to change their development functions under any circumstances”

Ho Chi Minh City has locked down the number of approved golf courses, as the city’s land resources for urban developments shrink.

According to a report the municipal People’s Committee sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, there would be only five golf courses in the city, with one already in operation.

Developed by the Hoa Viet Joint Stock Company, the 300 hectare Lam Vien golf course at District 9’s Long Binh and Long Thanh My quarters is the only one in operation. The other four are the 132ha project at District 2’s An Phu quarter, the 200ha GS course at Cu Chi district’s Tan Thong Hoi quarter, the 157ha Tan Son Nhat project in Tan Binh district and the 300ha Sing-Viet course in Binh Chanh district.

Most of the projects are foreign-backed, except the Tan Son Nhat golf course near the city’s international airport. They are coming along slowly and together they take up over 800ha of land previously used for agriculture.

The city recently revoked the investment licence for Yonwoo Van Phu Limited Company’s 160ha Yonwoo Van Phuc golf course due to slow land clearance and inappropriate planning.

In the report, people’s committee chairman Le Hoang Quan said the city would revoke any slowly-paced projects then set aside land for socially-beneficial developments, asking the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the people’s committees of District 9 and Thu Duc to find ways to extract 4ha from existing projects to build social housing for workers.

Recently, the city also terminated the 156ha Saigontourist golf course project at District 9’s Long Truong quarter of Golf Saigon Limited Company. The project had been at a standstill for almost 10 years.

Quan said: “All entertainment, cultural and sports-related projects in the city are not allowed to change their development functions under any circumstances. The city will put an end to any projects failing to go on as initially approved”.

According to the city’s legislation execution body, only Lam Vien and GS golf course projects have fulfilled their land-use duties.

The southern economic hub has not licenced any more golf courses since 2008, when the government issued Decision 1946/QD-Ttg approving the general plan of golf courses in Vietnam up to 2020.

Accordingly, only 89 golf courses have been scheduled within the country by 2020, of which 19 were already operational at the decision’s issuance date. Of the 89 projects, 29 will be located in the northern and central coastal areas of the central region, 21 in the country’s southeastern region, 16 in the Red River Delta, 11 in the northern midlands, eight in the Central Highlands and four in the Mekong Delta.

Also, the maximum area for an 18-hole golf course will be 100ha. Each project can use up to 5ha of a one-crop rice field, but not a more fertile, two-crop field.

By Ly An

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