The Land Development Law of Thailand is currently being revised in order to control the issue of subdivision land titles for single houses and construction projects which involve sub-dividing plots of land.

Under the existing Land Development law, there are no minimum requirements for land sub-division, allowing developers to build high rise blocks without applying "Set back" requirements, as defined in the Building Control Act. This has resulted in problems with the public health system, not to mention creating difficulties for public thorough-fare.

Generally speaking, the set back requirement defines that the height of a building which is facing onto the public road cannot exceed twice the distance from the starting point of construction of the building to the opposite pavement. The headquarters of one of Thailand's major financial institutions is a perfect example of the misuse of land subdivision, which the new rule should eradicate. A long narrow strip at the front of the plot, facing the road, has been sold from the main block of land allowing the developer to legitimately claim that the main plot of land no longer directly faces the road, and as the "Set back" rules only apply to Land which does, they have not wasted valuable space during construction.

The new rule however, states that the minimum requirement for land subdivision must be 50 square wah with suitable proportions of width and depth in order that the smaller plot may be properly utilised. The rule will also tackle environmental issues. The developer will have to submit supporting environmental documentation, properly authorised by competent authorities in Thailand, This is to ensure that the project has taken public safety and environmental issues into consideration.

The new rule, which will be included in the draft Land Development Law, will obviously be beneficial to the public but will restrict developers and construction companies who must now take into consideration and fully comply with both the "Set back" regulations and new minimum subdivision requirements.

The contents of this article are intended to be a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought for your specific circumstances.

For further information please contact Chonpreya Komarapajkul Johnson Stokes & Master (Thailand) Tel:(662) 231 0585-8 or (662) 231 0960-4; or enter a text search 'Johnson Stokes & Master' and 'Business Monitor'.