Golf projects to get into the swing

July 26, 2011 | 12:14
(0) user say
The development of gold courses has gabbed public special attention in recent years. Deputy head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s (MPI) Development Strategy Institute Hoang Ngoc Phong tells VIR about golf course development.

>> Golf projects get into the swing
>> Door to open for golf course developers

>> Khanh Hoa wants 3 more golf courses
>> Golf course to be built in Tan Son Nhat Airport

A project for building a big golf course within Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat international airport recently surprised the public. As a member of Vietnam’s golf course planning team what is your comment?

The project is part of the country’s golf course development general planning in light of prime ministerial Decision 1946/2009/QD-TTg concerning Vietnam golf course development planning until 2020.

Before issuing the decision, the government gave the thumbs-up for the ministries of Defense and Construction to work on building a golf course in this area. This means there was nothing to be concerned in terms of planning. In respect to land issue, the area is under the Ministry of Defense management.

The media said the developer of this project planned to build high-rise blocks in the golf course which would affect flight safety. Will there be some revisions to the golf course plan?

We drafted conventional golf course planning schemes with just golf courses and support facilities. I think we need a clear stance about the issue. Linking golf courses to villas or urban area development will mislead the public.

In fact, total land area for 90 planned golf courses is more than 6,300 hectares which only accommodate 2 per cent of rice fields and there is absolutely no two-rice-crop fields.

The MPI reportedly proposed the government add scores of golf courses to the country’s golf course general development planning until 2020 which triggered public concerns. What is your comment?

A province with vigorous industrial development pace and wooing foreign investors may need a golf course. Taking northern Bac Ninh province for an example. Building a golf course may be a good option since the province attracted big foreign groups.

Accordingly, it was impossible to take back rice fields, special-use and protective forests for golf course development. Golf course projects must satisfy certain requirements relevant to water usage and environmental standards.

I could say for sure that if our planning was green-lighted by the government that would be because first, all the golf courses meet set criteria in light with Decision 1946 regulations and planned in areas with high potential for tourism development. Second, the land for golf courses is in the land use plans approved by competent government agencies. Third, this is conventional golf course development plan not linking to any new urban area or property projects.

That was why total area for new golf courses only covers 3,800ha.

So how many new golf courses is the MPI asking to add?

In light with our latest scheme lately submitted to the government for approval, 28 new golf courses will be added. Of existing 90 planned golf courses, three got their licences revoked. Therefore if our scheme is ratified, Vietnam will have 115 golf courses.

Is 115 golf courses a big amount?

These planned golf courses are rooted in the development perspective of each locality. That number is also tantamount to that in some other ASEAN countries such as the Philippines currently hosts 100, Malaysia 230 now that will hike to 300 by 2020 and Thailand 350 by 2020.

By Ha Nguyen

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional