Unauthorized construction rampant in South Central Coast, Central Highlands

Along the Central coastal provinces of Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa, as well as in the provinces of Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Kon Tum, and Dak Nong in the Central Highlands, numerous real estate projects remain incomplete and stalled.

FLC Hilltop Gia Lai project

Just 2-3 years ago, the real estate market in these areas was booming, attracting significant investments from businesses and individuals. However, most of these projects face delays in completion due to legal issues.

In Binh Thuan Province, home to numerous coastal resort real estate projects, the issue of unauthorized construction has become more complex. Situated at the heart of Mui Ne tourist center in Phan Thiet City, the Truong Hai Service and Tourism project, managed by Truong Hai Company, was recently halted by the provincial Department of Construction for proceeding with the construction of 14 buildings, swimming pools, and restaurants without proper permits.

Notably, in August 2019, Binh Thuan Provincial Department of Construction had previously fined this project for erecting ten unauthorized buildings. However, the developer has now repeated the offense.

Similarly, in Phan Thiet City, the Tien Thanh Tourism and Resort project, managed by Tien Thanh Tourism and Resort Company, has constructed two hotel and restaurant areas that do not comply with the issued construction permits. The Binh Thuan provincial inspectorate emphasized that responsibility for these violations rests with the Department of Construction and all relevant entities and individuals involved in planning, reviewing construction plans, and recommending construction permits.

Penalties, offense repetition

In Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, as of the end of 2023, authorities have identified 2,159 unauthorized constructions that remain unresolved. Several residential projects are unable to issue certificates to residents due to various reasons. For example, Scenia Bay Hotel and Apartment Complex is reassessing land values following detailed urban planning adjustments. Similarly, the Napoleon Castle I apartment project faces financial obligations related to land use adjustments stemming from detailed construction planning revisions, necessitating additional payments to the State budget.

Recently, Khanh Hoa provincial police sent a letter to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, requesting documents related to the Con Tan Lap residential project in Xuong Huan ward, Nha Trang City to investigate potential violations concerning land, minerals, and environmental protection during the project's execution.

In Gia Nghia City, Dak Nong Province, there has been a surge in illegal construction activities. Specifically, at Ca Sau (Crocodile) Waterfall in Nghia Tan and Nghia Trung wards, since 2020, affluent individuals have aggressively acquired land and developed numerous unauthorized structures for resale. Many agricultural land areas have undergone changes compared to before 2020, with numerous housing projects now developed.

According to representatives from the Urban Management Department of Gia Nghia City, in the Ca Sau Waterfall area, several households and individuals have leveled land and constructed structures without proper construction permits, posing risks of violating urban planning regulations and disrupting construction order.

Meanwhile, in Lam Dong province, the Eden Hills project in Trung Ha Hamlet, Dong Thanh Commune, Lam Ha District, once hailed as a model for investors returning to the area about three years ago, has encountered setbacks. Initially envisioned as a lush garden with aged coffee trees and meandering paths, investors purchased and planned to transform the site into 51 modern villas and garden homes.

Nearby, internal amenities are nearing completion. In Hamlet No.3, Me Linh Commune, Lam Ha District, a vast hill spanning approximately 10 hectares has seen the development of a wide, concrete road about 6 meters wide and over 300 meters long, running from the foot to the summit of the hill. Investors have also subdivided this area into plots averaging 500-1,000 square meters each.

In Binh Thuan Province, the provincial Department of Construction has recently observed cases where some real estate projects, though lacking legal compliance, have been marketed and transferred using forms of reservation, booking, and location registrations to collect payments from buyers. These methods are not stipulated under Housing Law, Real Estate Business Law, or other relevant legal regulations.

On-paper projects

In 2019, the People's Committee of Dak Lak Province approved VN Da Thanh Group's proposal to develop the Tan An Service Urban Area and Industrial Cluster project in Tan Loi Ward, Buon Ma Thuot City. The project spans nearly 22 hectares with a total investment of VND614 billion and was slated for completion within 48 months (from 2019 to 2022).

However, nearly two years past the deadline, the project remains stagnant as the investor has not initiated any construction phase. Despite external fencing and advertising billboards, upon closer inspection, the site reveals nothing more than an empty plot of land.

A resort project featuring dozens of villa and garden house plots has been 'idle' for several years in Dong Thanh Commune, Lam Ha District, Lam Dong Province.

In 2020, the Dak Lak Provincial People's Committee approved the investment proposal for the Northwest No.2 Urban Residential Area project, with a total investment of VND2.1 trillion, to be developed on 27 hectares in An Lac Ward, Buon Ho Town. The project is led by a consortium comprising Hanoi-based Viet Han Trading, Advertising, Construction, and Real Estate Joint Stock Company and Hai Duong Province-based Nam Quang Infrastructure Investment and Development Joint Stock Company. The plan includes approximately 18,000 square meters allocated for social housing and 9,500 square meters of townhouse land for resettlement.

Originally scheduled for completion within two years, the project remains stalled after nearly four years. The development area has been left abandoned, with local residents using it for cattle grazing. According to Mr. Dang Gia Duan, Chairman of the People's Committee of Buon Ho Town, the Northwest No.2 Urban Residential Area project is still in the land clearance process, facing challenges including over 30 households yet to receive compensation for relocation.

In Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces, two commercial and townhouse projects by FLC Group were expected to become lively entertainment and bustling commercial spaces, but have remained unfinished for several years due to violations during the implementation process.

Specifically, the FLC Hilltop Gia Lai project, encompassing a high-end hotel, supermarket, and commercial townhouses across over 31,000 square meters, including a conference center and a 5-star hotel, Dam San Square, and FLC Hilltop Shophouse area, was granted investment approval to FLC Group.

However, after four years, the project remains incomplete. In a response to voters in November 2023, Gia Lai Provincial People's Committee acknowledged findings from inspections and audits by authorized agencies, highlighting implementation errors. Consequently, the Provincial People's Committee has instructed a review and corrective actions.

In Kon Tum, the commercial, entertainment, and townhouse complex project overseen by FLC Group covers more than 179,600 square meters in Truong Chinh Ward, Kon Tum City. Despite commencing in 2019, the project remains unfinished. According to the Government Inspectorate's findings, the Kon Tum Provincial People's Committee improperly tasked the Provincial Land Development Center with selling land assets and transferring land use rights through auctions, which violates Decree No.151/2017/ND-CP and the Law on Management and Use of Public Assets.

While the project is unfinished, the Provincial Land Registration Office has issued certificates of land use rights, home ownership, and other associated assets for a land area exceeding 71,600 square meters. They arbitrarily subdivided this area into 474 parcels and issued separate red books with long-term validity, contrary to land laws.

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