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Construction, repair, demolition projects now require permits

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Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara addresses a meeting. CHEA SOPHARA VIA FACEBOOK

Construction, repair, demolition projects now require permits

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction notified all construction companies and builders that they must not sign contracts for projects that have not yet received permits, lest they face penalties or have their licences revoked.

The March 2 announcement included all construction, repair and demolition work.

“Construction owners and real estate and housing developers must contact a professional inspection and certification company, licensed by the ministry, to inspect and issue a certificate of conformity of planning, according to the regulations set out by the ministry,” it said.

The ministry will consider non-permitted work illegal, because it shows that architectural plans or designs had not been examined and approved by the authorities. This could mean the project may be outside of parameters which had been established in the interests of public safety, aesthetics and quality control.

“We will send inspectors to check permits at construction sites. If necessary, action will be taken. Licences and permits may be revoked or other penalties may be imposed. In serious cases, court action will be pursued and tools and equipment confiscated,” it said.

Run Sokha, head of the technical department at Soma Construction & Development, welcomed the announcement, saying all construction must have permits as they are legal documents.

“Obtaining a legal construction permit means, for example, locating a building within the boundaries of a plot of land to avoid conflict with neighbours, studying the water system requirements, planning drainage and waste water and a well-thought-out electrical system. Not all companies do these things, so we support this announcement,” he said.

Having been involved in the sector for many years, Sokha urged builders to choose a company that holds the right business licences, as it was a good indicator that they would maintain order, quality and safety standards throughout the construction process.

He added that the ministry’s leadership on this issue was sure to have positive effects on the professionalism and quality of work in the industry. It meant that those developers and companies that “cut corners” could no longer do so.

Khim Bunlin, an expert in architecture who has worked with builders for many years, said that in his experience some companies began projects before their permits had been approved, which often led to a decrease in safety.

He had observed that more companies were mindful of regulations than were in the past, which reflected the gradual development of sustainable construction.

The inspection and certification of work was scheduled to begin on January 4.

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