building

Koh Samui Building Regulations

Koh Samui Building Regulations, understanding the impact of planning regulations is essential when considering investment opportunities in Koh Samui. One of the most important pieces of building regulation for potential investors is the Town and City Planning Act, which includes the Koh Samui zoning laws. The laws protect agricultural land and areas of environmental or cultural significance, while encouraging developments that can boost tourism and the economy in the right places. The zoning laws are not intended to curb development, but rather to ensure that it happens in a positive and sustainable way.

The Koh Samui property zoning map shows how the zones are distributed across the island. It is important to know which zone a property or piece of land falls into before investing as this determines what can be built and how the area is likely to change. The zoning restrictions could help protect the value of your property by preventing any unwelcome developments in the area or by ensuring that public services and utilities will be provided. The Koh Samui zoning laws could also preserve the future value of your property by protecting beautiful views or popular tourist attractions nearby.

Koh Samui Zoning

Summary of Zones
As is evident from the foregoing, Zone 2 and Zone 3 are most relevant to the
real estate industry on Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Zone 2
In Zone 2, the following rules apply (not including rules not directly relevant to
real estate):
• Future construction of airports and golf courses is prohibited;
• Future construction of water-dams is permitted, provided construction is
not on public land and provided structures do not block access to the
beach;
• Construction of hotels is permitted, provided that 50% of the land is left
vacant and “green” (i.e., consisting of foliage, trees, etc.) and having native
trees;
• Construction of a residential project consisting of ten (10) or more
residential units must include approved water and waste treatment
facilities.
Zone 3
In Zone 3.1 and 3.3, constructions 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.
Hotels
Additional rules for the construction of hotels in all zones:
• The hotel designs must include approved water and waste treatment
facilities;
• For a hotel with 10 or more rooms or that is 500m2 or greater, an
Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) is required;
• For a hotel with 80 plus rooms, or a total area exceeding 4,000 m2, a more
onerous EIA is required.
Slope
In all zones, where the land has a slope of between 35-50 degrees, only a single
house is permitted:
• Cannot exceed 6 metres in height;
• Cannot exceed 80 m2 in area;
• Must leave 75% of the land vacant, and 50% of the vacant land must be
“green” with native trees;
• Furthermore, the area of the land must be 120 square wah or greater,
otherwise construction is prohibited.
Where the land has a slope greater than 50 degrees, construction is prohibited.

Koh Samui Building regulations

Koh Samui Zoning Law

Zones 1.1 to 1.20

In Koh Samui Building regulations the low-density residential areas zones are highlighted in yellow. The below rules apply when building within these zones:

  • The total area of any buildings, except hotels, must not exceed 2,000 sqm and the height of any building must not exceed 12m
  • If land is used for residential purposes, including hotels, apartments, and bungalows, the surrounding space must be at least 40% of the whole plot.
  • If the land is used for acceptable purposes other than residential, it shall have a surrounding space of at least 20% of the whole
  • If the land borders a public canal or public water source, the land 6m from the edge must not be used
  • The land 10m from the coast must not be used (specific exceptions exist)
  • If the land should be within 50m from the coast, the building height should not exceed 6m  and its total area must not exceed 75sqm. The surrounding space must be at least 75 % of the whole plot.

Zone numbers 2.1 to 2.4,

Medium-density residential  areas. Land here will be used as in the yellow zones. But the land used for other purposes in these zones must not exceed 20%.

Zones 3.1 to 3.13:

High-density residential and commercial areas. This land is to be used predominately for commerce, residential and tourism purposes.

  • 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

Zone 4:

The land on Koh Mat, Koh Fan, Koh Wang Nai, Koh Wang Nok, Koh Rap, Koh Mutsu (all within Koh Samui District)

Industrial and warehouse building. Land here is to be used primarily for the purpose of industry), community recycling factories and warehouses.

Zones 5.1 and 5.2

Specific industrial and warehouse areas. These zones are to be used for the purpose of a specific industry, which includes any permitted factory provided for in the Ministerial Regulation addendum, community recycling factories and warehouses.

Zones 6.1 to 6.11

Rural and agricultural areas. Land here is to be used for agricultural purposes, or any activity relating to agriculture, residence and tourism

In Zones 6.3 and 6.9

Among the list of prohibited uses are: any purposes of land allotment, except agriculture purposes; residential purposes, except for single house; and any business which may cause harm to health, under the laws regarding public health.

Zones 7.1 to 7.7

Public use and for the maintenance of the environment. Land in these zones is to be used only for the purposes of recreation building, or any activity relating to recreation; the maintenance of the environment; or for the benefit of the public. Include: residential purposes; any building whose total areas exceeds 1,000 sqm or 12m height; residential purposes relating to condominiums, apartments, dormitories, attached houses, or commercial house types; waste disposal facilities; junkyards; or vehicle servicing or manufacturing facilities.

Zones 8.1 to 8.3

Reserved forest areas, where the land is to be used for the protection and preservation of the forest, wild animals, water resources and any other natural resource, according to the resolution of the Council of Ministers.

Zones 9.1 to 9.27

Educational institutes building. Land here is to be used for educational purposes or any activity relating to education; or for the benefit of the public only.

Zone 10

Tourism, fishing and the maintenance of the surrounding environment. Land here is to be used for the purposes of the preservation of the environment; tourism or any activities relating to tourism; the benefit of sea life; seaside fishing; or the public benefit only.

Zones 11.1 to 11.24

Religious purposes. Land in these zones is to be used for the purpose of religion or any activity relating to religion; education; or for the public benefit only.

Zones 12.1 to 12.29,

Government Building and public utilities. And the land in these zones is to be used for the purposes of state operations, any activity relating to the public utilities and public assistance, or public benefit only.
All ways ensure your investment is located in the appropiate zone

The 12 zones defined by the Samui Town and City Planning Act in Thailand have been created to ensure that development produces long term benefits for both investors and the local people. You should always check that a potential development is located in the appropriate Koh Samui zone and consider how the Koh Samui Building regulations and zoning laws will shape the development of the surrounding area. Take a look at the Koh Samui property zoning map to get an idea of the areas where development is possible and download a free copy of our Exclusive Guide to Investing in Koh Samui to find out more.

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