New EIA Development Guidelines In December
In a circular by Thailand's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment revised guidelines for EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) will come into effect at the end of December. As per leading law firm Mayer Brown JSM key revisions are on developments including marinas, condominiums and hotels and buildings.
Changes in the new guidelines for marinas require an EIA for any project with a capacity over 50 vessels or in an area of 1,000 square meters and above. For condos and hotels whereas the old specification was based on total room counts, the new rule covers both number of rooms and usable area. An EIA will be requisite for 80 rooms and over or an aggregate usable floor area of 4,000 square maters and above.
Buildings that have a height of 23 meters and upward or total usable floor area of 10,000 square meters. Location and purpose now have been expanded to cover retail and wholesale businesses, office and if the location is in the coastal area, national park, historical park or river/lake.
The new rules include a notification clause for Phuket and Pattaya, which means additional or varying rules, may be applied. Bottom line remains the permitting process while coming more in line with acceptable international standard remains subject to interpretation and somewhat discretionary under local administrations as in the case of Phuket.