First of all of course may we all here at Ko Samui Properties wish you a very Happy New Year.
There are basically three sets of regulations which apply to development on Koh Samui. They are the City Planning Ministerial Regulation BE 2549 (2006) which relates to zoning, the Beach Land Regulations according to the Building Control Act and the more recent Environmental Regulations 2014 which put further restrictions on what can be built at certain heights above sea level.
The Zoning of Samui is shown in the above image. The large green area which covers most of the island is designated as rural and agricultural areas but does allow use for residences and tourism. Other uses are permitted subject to restrictions on height and density. A building in this area will have a Construction Permit showing the land designation as 6.3. The pale areas are in Zone 1 which is primarily low density residential and tourism and restrictions apply as to height and density. Zone 1 includes the Beach Land Regulations which state that land 10m from the coast must not be used (specific exceptions exist).and on land that is within 50m from the coast, no building should exceed 6m in height. And its total area must not exceed 75sqm, and the surrounding space must be at least 75 % of the whole (specific exceptions exist). Red areas are for high density residential use and there are specific areas designated for industrial use, government office, etc.
Send me an email if you would like a bigger version of this image.
The other Regulations that more recently added to the restriction on development was the Environmental Regulations 2014. These applied to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao as well of all the surrounding islands. Seven Zones in all.
Zone 1 relates to offshore activities such as drilling; Zone 2 refers to all land in Koh Samui, Koh Tan and Koh Phangan that is less than 80 metres from sea level; Zone 3 is divided into 3 sub-zones
Zone 3.1: Land that is 80-140 metres above sea level in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan
Zone 3.2: Land that is greater than 140 metres above sea level in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan
Zone 3.3: Land that is 80 metres above sea level in Koh Tan
Zones 4-7 refer to the other offshore islands.
In Zone 2 the future construction of airports and golf courses is prohibited as is future construction of water-dams. Construction of hotels is permitted, provided that 50% of the land is left vacant and “green and the construction of a residential project consisting of ten (10) or more residential units must include approved water and waste treatment facilities.
In Zone 3.1 and 3.3, construction of residential units is limited to a single house, which cannot exceed 6 metres in height;
Must leave 50% of the land vacant and “green”; must include an approved water-drainage system to prevent flooding;
Must have an architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics; Must have a roof consisting of 80% of the total building area, and the roof colour must match the natural surroundings; Furthermore, the area of the land must be 100 square wah or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.
In Zone 3.2, constructions of residential units are limited to a single house, which cannot exceed 6 metres in height; Cannot exceed 90 m2 in area; Must leave 50% of the land vacant and “green”; Must include an approved water-drainage system to prevent flooding; Must have an architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics; Must have a roof consisting of 80% of the total building area, and the roof colour must match the natural surroundings; Furthermore, the area of the land must be 100 square wah or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.
There are further restrictions on hotels and land having a slope between 35 and 50 degrees and nothing can be built on land with a slope exceeding 50 degrees.
The only way to be sure of the height of land above sea level is to check with the Land Office or Tessaban as they have maps showing all areas. Despite this no-one (even in the Land Office) has been able to tell me the point from which sea level is measured. You can get a rough idea using the Elevation Profile feature of Google Earth. Not definitive but gives a good indication of being below 80m or between 80 and 140 m or above 140m.
If you would like a full copy of any or all of these regulations, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .