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Poultry tycoon ordered to pull down part of Pattaya estate

Officials have ordered the demolition of buildings at Sukhawadee House, a luxury beachfront mansion and tourist attraction in Pattaya, after it was found to be encroaching on public land and causing flooding in the resort city.

Its owner has been given seven weeks to obey the order, which was issued on Thursday, or see the property demolished by the Pattaya municipality, its deputy clerk Sutham Phetket said yesterday.

The buildings include a kitchen, which sits on public land, and two others known as Building B and Building C, which were built without permission.

Central to the encroachment charge is an 11-rai plot reclaimed from the sea. It forms part of the 80-rai plot on which Sukhawadee House stands, in tambon Na Klua of Bang Lamung district.

Land reclaimed from the sea is considered public land.

“It’s time for us to take back this public land for public use,” Mr. Sutham said.

The encroachment surfaced early last year, following a complaint from local villagers. A check by officials confirmed Sukhawadee’s owner had violated land- and building-control laws.

Construction on the 11-rai reclaimed plot is also blamed for frequent flooding in parts of tambon Na Klua, Mr Sutham said.

Inspectors had earlier discovered changes in the coastal terrain. Along with the Sukhawadee project, officials found 115 houses had encroached at the mouth of Nok Yang canal, blocking water from flowing into the sea, he said. Officials will dredge the canal and reclaim the land so that floodwater can be drained. Land encroachment has caused rampant flooding in the coastal tourist town, said Mr Sutham.

Last year, Pattaya City Hall ordered Sukhawadee House to demolish fencing on a road linking the estate to Soi Bang Lamung, after finding it had been built on public property. The Sukhawadee estate is owned by Panya Chotitawan, owner of Saha Farms Co Ltd, one of the country’s largest frozen-poultry exporters.