Wed, Mar 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Resort project returned to drawing board

GREED OR NEED:Projected tourism demands for the region show that only another 68 hotel rooms would be needed by 2023, but the projects would add more than 1,000

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Environmentalists and residents of Shanyuan Bay in Taitung County’s Beinan Township hold signs and banners outside the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei yesterday as an environmental impact assessment meeting was held for the proposed Golden Sea Resort Hotel.

Photo: Liu Li-jen, Taipei Times

A controversial resort project at Taitung County’s Shanyuan Bay (杉原灣) was yesterday returned to its supervising agency by an environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee, following strong opposition from local Aborigines and environmentalists.

The Golden Sea Resort Hotel (黃金海休閒渡假村) is one of four resort projects planned in the bay, with a development area of 11.32 hectares and investment of NT$260 million (US$8.9 million) near Highway 11.

In 2000, the project passed an EIA review, but the developer was required to file a new impact assessment in 2006 because it did not begin construction within three years after it was granted construction approval.

Yesterday’s meeting at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) headquarters in Taipei is the eighth committee review of the project.

Before the meeting, protesters rallied in front of the EPA building, urging the committee to halt the review until the Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency revealed its plans for the east coast.

In addition to the Golden Sea project, three other resort projects — the Miramar Resort Hotel, the Shanyuan Palm Beach Resort and the Naruwan Inn — are planned, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan researcher Chan Yi-wen (詹壹雯) said.

The Supreme Administrative Court last year ruled that construction of the Miramar Resort Hotel was illegal.

The projected number of hotel rooms in demand by 2023 is about 68, but if the projects are approved there would be a total of 1,340 rooms available, Chan said.

Kaluluan community leader Tsai Kuei-fa (蔡貴發), an Amis, led yesterday’s protest, saying the proposed construction site overlaps the community’s traditional land.

However, the Council of Indigenous Peoples refused to include private properties in its demarcation of Aboriginal lands, the community said, adding that they would launch more demonstrations if the project proceeds.

The Tourism Bureau and the county government did not send any representatives to the meeting.

Many committee members said the developer’s marine ecology, coral coverage and cultural heritage surveys are flawed and unprofessional.

Under the advice of committee member and EPA Deputy Minister Chan Shun-kuei (詹順貴), the committee returned the project to the Tourism Bureau, based on Article 13-1 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法).

The developer is required to submit ecological surveys, waste water disposal plans, geological safety reports and increase communication with local communities before resubmitting the project to the EPA.

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