Hanoi halts 11 golf course projects

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Hanoi city authorities have decided to suspend the construction of 11 out of 19 golf courses whose investors were found developing works other than golf courses on the designated land.

Under the decision by the Hanoi People's Committee's, the investors must contact the city's Department of Planning and Architecture in the first quarter for specific instructions on how to modify their projects, Vietnam Economic Times reported on Saturday.

Those investors who failed to do so would forfeit their rights to the projects, it said.

Construction on the project will not be allowed to resume until the capital's new zoning and construction plan is approved, according to the news source. The major plan was expected to obtain approval this June at the earliest.

The moves aim to adjust the scale and business objectives of golf course complexes, and it also aims to separate real estate projects from sports complexes, local newspaper An Ninh Thu Do reported, adding that it would also help local authorities save land and manage the projects more efficiently.

Golf courses accounted for only 35 percent of the 6,362 hectares of land distributed to golf course projects, according to Hanoi People's Committee.

Other 65 percent of the land had been used for hotels, trade centers, tourism sites and other facilities.

As golf course projects were given generous land, usually over 200 hectares each, and low taxes, many investors used designated and for other businesses like hospitality and real estate, An Ninh Thu Do said.

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