Pattaya mega-project approved at public hearing

PATTAYA: A proposal for a 2.9 billion baht mega-development in the Cape Bali Hai area of this tourist city was approved at a public hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing at a meeting hall of Pattaya City in Chon Buri was chaired by deputy mayor Ronnakit Ekasingh and attended by about 300 representatives of government agencies and the private sector – the Marine Department, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Sattahip naval base, tourism businesses and community leaders.

Mr Ronnakit said the development would support the tourism industry and people’s livelihoods, in line with the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor development plans. These plans included U-tapao international airport, a high-speed train line and a commercial seaport.

Pattaya City earlier hired Phisut Technology Ltd to make a study of the development of the Bali Hai cape area, to make Pattaya a sustainable tourist hub.

Songkrit Sappakit, the study manager, said a proposal had been made for a project costing about 2.9 billion baht.

There were three main parts:

1. A terminal for cruise ships at the tip of the cape, with a two-storey administration building;

2. A recreation area by the Bali Hai boat pier, covering about 15-rai. There would be a four-lane access road and an open space for various activities. The waterfront would be expanded. Other structures to be built included a department store, a second boat pier, a sky walk and a passenger terminal for the planned light electric train; and

3. A 38,000-square-metre commercial area near the existing Walking Street, which would also be a new tourist attraction.

About 60% of the people in attendance agreed with the proposal.

The proposal will go to the EEC for consideration before it is forwarded to the cabinet for approval.