Golf course resorts in Vietnam may lose their attractiveness to developers and international investors if government proposals to limit the amount of land for residential property within project areas, it is claimed.
Ministers are keen to limit the amount of land within golf developments on which villas and apartments can be built to a maximum of 10% of the total project area as part of the country’s golf course strategy between now and 2020.
There has been a lot of public concern about the huge amount of golf course developments being built. Much of the criticism surrounds the environmental impact of golf course developments which use a huge amount of water to keep the greens green. But there are also worries about the impact of a large number of properties on these sites as they also require a lot of water and land space.
There is also concern about land that is currently being used as prime growing land for rice being turned into golf developments. But developers may be put off if the amount of land for housing is limited, according to Doan Van An, general director of Chi Linh Star Golf Club.
Van An and other developers want to retain the ability to decide what proportion of land for building accommodation should be available based on the projects requirements. They point out that such a restriction is not imposed in other countries and it could also limit the attractiveness of projects to international real estate investors and it could shorten financial returns.
According to the Ministry of Planning there are currently 19 golf courses operating in the country with accommodation taking up large slices of the development. An example is the Tam Dao Golf Resort in northern Vinh Phuc province where 96 hectares out of 136 hectares is reserved for villas. The Dam Vac Golf Course in the same province has accommodation on 20% of its land.
Frank Chueng, general director of New City Vietnam which is developing a $4.3 billion complex in central Phu Yen province that has a 36 hole golf course, said that while developers can see the sense behind limiting the amount of residential property on a golf course it would make the financing of projects more difficult. Fewer villas would make a golf project more genuine it has a down side.
‘Developing and running a golf course not only involves big investment but also takes a long time for returns. If the developers are allowed to build residential houses or villas for sale, it certainly helps alleviate the initial financial burden,’ Chueng said.