Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t tears down bungalow

People watch on Saturday as workers destroy one of 10 concrete bungalows that had been under construction for two years on Otres 1 beach in Preah Sihanouk province
People watch on Saturday as workers destroy one of 10 concrete bungalows that had been under construction for two years on Otres 1 beach in Preah Sihanouk province. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Gov’t tears down bungalow

A government decision to tear down a bungalow on Preah Sihanouk province’s Otres 1 beach on Saturday has sparked fear among some of the area’s business owners that their establishments could face a similar fate.

The provincial land management department destroyed one of 10 concrete bungalows that had been under construction for about two years because such buildings are banned on the beach, provincial chief of land management Hun Thy said.

“This is the first time [I know of] of the government coming here and taking something down,” said Frida Masson, an employee at the Wish You Were Here guesthouse and bar, located across the street from Otres beach. “Of course everybody who owns on the water is worried.”

Preah Sihanouk Governor Chhin Sokorn said provincial officials warned the owner last week that their property would be demolished unless they agreed to move it.

When the owner did not respond to the warning or meet provincial land management department staff at the site on Saturday, a demolition crew knocked down one of the approximately 10m-by-10m bungalows, Thy said. It was unclear when or if the remaining nine will be torn down.

“Before we demolished a bungalow, we first notified them that 10 of their stalls were built illegally,” Thy said. The department allowed the owner to build wooden bungalows “far away” from the beach, but the owner tried to find a loophole by building concrete bungalows on the beach, he added.

Both Thy and Sokorn refused to disclose who owns the property, citing the possibility it could harm their business.

Construction of the bungalows began nearly two years ago, said the owner of the Penguin Pablo guesthouse, who gave his name only as Kong. However, it is widely understood that building bungalows or hotels on the beach itself is forbidden.

“Everybody knows you cannot have bungalows on the beach,” he said, adding that the demolition had, nonetheless, upset many hotel owners.

Kong and Masson said that the government often makes new rules for hotels and threatens to tear down those that deviate.

“They’ve been saying that for years and years, but maybe this is the year they’ll do it,” Masson said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEAN TEEHAN

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Phnom Penh eats: Homegrown veggies at Bayon Beoung Snor

​Nestled along National Road 1, Bayon Beoung Snor is a farm-cum-restaurant. The team grows their own vegetables, which they then use to whip up traditional Khmer food.

Bill Clough reflects on The Phnom Penh Post's 25 year history

The Post's publisher Bill Clough, under whose leadership the publication went from a fortnightly to a daily one, discusses his investment in Cambodia, his vision for the paper in an increasingly digital age,

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking

Comfrel Executive Director Koul Panha speaks to the press at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

As the National Election Committee launched into the recount proc