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Ministry requests to limit construction of tall buildings in Sa Pa

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The Ministry of Construction has requested Lao Cai Province to limit the construction of tall buildings in the core tourist area of Sa Pa to avoid overloading infrastructure.

The proposal is part of the subdivision planning project under the general planning on the construction of Sa Pa National Tourist Area until 2040.

After the Hanoi – Lao Cai Expressway was finished in 2014, Sa Pa in the northern highlands became a destination for investors with mega hotel and resort projects. However, Sa Pa has shown signs of overload recently, as well as problems of environmental pollution. Last year, this town was affected by flooding.

The ministry also requested Lao Cai to specifically review the criteria for density and maximum height in construction to ensure compliance with the approved general plan.

Lao Cai needs to clearly separate the planning management criteria from the current status of renovation, urban development and new construction, it said.

In particular, the renovation area must not increase the construction density and height to reduce pressure on infrastructure and the environment. With any new construction site, the province needs to clarify the scientific basis and legality of the general planning.

In addition, the province also needs to review the limited range of trees to protect the drainage system. Areas that are likely to cause flash floods and landslides need to be carefully assessed in order to create safe construction solutions.

Specific requests vary according to various subdivisions of the wider area.

For subdivision 1 – the administrative center and northwestern cultural exchange urban area, the ministry assessed that a maximum height of 15 floors for construction at new urban locations was not suitable. In addition, the proposal to build a golf course in this subdivision was not consistent with the general plan.

The same goes for subdivision 3 – the urban area and cultural tourism service along Muong Hoa Valley. According to the ministry, the maximum height of 5-7 floors for construction in areas along the valley is not suitable.

The maximum height of 9 floors in subdivision 4 – Sau Chua eco-tourism resort and health care urban area is also not suitable and the ministry asked Lao Cai to review its proposals.

For subdivision 2 – the urban area and tourism services in Suoi Ho Valley, the ministry requires a clear assessment of the current residential areas that have been legally settled as well as public constructions, essential infrastructure and facilities that need upgrade and renovation.

Lao Cai needs to pay attention to education, culture, medical, sports facilities, and villages of ethnic minorities to have appropriate planning solutions to ensure the stable life of residents.

For subdivision 5, the northern high-end eco-tourism resort urban area, the ministry has requested the province to clarify the boundaries of Thac Bac tourist site with other areas as well as solutions for local garbage and wastewater treatment.

By Anh Tu – – July 16, 2023

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