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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) Jeju government announced on January 14 that an urban planning (urban planing facilities) scheme (revised), proposed by Jeju Benma Iho Land, passed review by the City Planning Commission conditionally.
Jeju Benma Iho Land, a subsidiary of China's Benma Group, submitted a business plan that covers the construction of a hotel with 1,100 rooms, a condominium resort with 216 rooms, a convention center, marina facilities, an amusement park and plaza, and maritime multi cultural facilities near Iho beach.
The area for development project has been reduced from 276,128㎡ to 231,791㎡, and expenses from KRW 1.269 trillion to KRW 1.064 trillion in this plan.
The City Planning Commission set forth a condition, asking for recalculating the amount of water and sewage taking into account beach users and assuring the water and sewage pipeline. Also, it requested to present a contributed acceptance plan clearly on road and parking lot inside the planned site, and to extend green area inside the planned site by securing more river bridges and changing road pavement materials.
The Commission ordered a retrial during its review in October last year, requesting to prove the grounds for an increase of the number of rooms from previous 739 to 1,217.
The Commission also asked the developer to establish measures to preserve natural resources, like complementing water and sewage facilities in relation to the increased total area of building structure and preventing the loss of sand in white sand beach.
Regarding an increase in the number of rooms, the developer responded that an appropriate number of rooms is necessary to attract a global brand hotel chain. On the measures to prevent the loss of sand, it pledged to make efforts in cooperation with Jeju Province government and Iho-dong community center as long-term observation is to continue.
This project to create a Iho resort began when Jeju city established a master plan for Jeju Marin Tourism and Leisure Town (June 1996~January 2000). Jeju city selected and announced the development of Iho resort (164,000㎡).
The project gained approval from the Jeju Provincial Council based on the combined (environment, transportation) impact assessment in 2005, and completed public waters reclamation work in 2009. However, it came to a halt due to controversy over ecosystem destruction and opposition from the locals, and has been stranded due to reconsideration on landscape impact assessment, transportation impact assessment, and urban planning.
As it passed the Commission's review, the developer plans to resume construction work once finishing the necessary procedures like re-consultation on environmental impact assessment, gaining approval from the Provincial council, and project approval from the Provincial government and complete the construction by 2023.
An official from the Province Government said "we will see whether this developer faithfully implements all the conditions required for various review process throughout the administrative procedures, and then grant a final permission".
Benma Group, a Chinese distributor, was founded in 2001. It has five subsidiaries including Jeju Benma Iho Land that is involved in capital and real estate investment and sales of steel and construction materials, and Heilongjiang Benma Industry Group Co., Ltd.
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Source: Yonhap News (January 14, 2019)
** This article was translated from Korean.