Gamuda Land is the property development arm of Gamuda Berhad, a Malaysian engineering, construction and infrastructure group.
One of its projects in Vietnam is the 500-hectare Gamuda City project located in Hoang Mai district, Hanoi. The City includes two urban areas namely Gamuda Gardens and Gamuda Lakes; and two commercial centers namely Gamuda Central and Gamuda Plaza.
Lately, Gamuda Land has adjusted the development plan by adding 130 units of villas and townhouses into the area.
According to the information provided, Gamuda Land has asked for authorities' permission to adjust the plan of the ST5 subdivision, shrinking the size of each unit and raising the number of villas and townhouses from 232 to 362 units.
However, Gamuda Gardens residents said that despite getting no approval for the adjusted planning, the company had signed distribution agreements and gotten the deposit from customers.
Some people living in the Gamuda Gardens expressed their discontent with the investor’s adjustment plan as it might impact detrimentally on residents, especially those living in low-rise subdivisions.
Accordingly, the adjustment would result in a 71 per cent increase in the construction density of the ST5 subdivision and an 80 per cent increase in population density, leading to a significant rise in the number of means of transport that require additional space for parking and moving.
Besides, the current traffic design that has also been changed could not ensure the traffic safety as the original one.
In addition, Nga, a resident of the Gamuda Gardens says that the investor has not conducted its commitment to developing such services as schools, kindergartens, and hospitals.
“The initial goal of the investor is to provide a worth-living urban area for people; however, Gamuda Land is still only pursuing its profits while abandoning their customers,” said Nga.
“Currently, there is only a pool that used to serve people living in the low-rise areas; however, it is now used by thousands of people of Gamuda Gardens and others who are not residents of the area,” she added.
Some people said that the increase in the number of Gamuda Gardens residents would result in the overloaded social infrastructure. As a result, the State would have to spend a considerable amount of budget expanding roads, building more schools and hospitals which are adjacent to the area.
‘Investor is just cheating residents’
In order to legitimize the adjustment of the planning, the People's Committee of Tran Phu ward cooperated with investors to collect residents’ comments on this May 4.
While representative of Gamuda Land affirmed that the consultation of the residents’ planning reached a consensus, people living in the area pointed out the abnormalities of this meeting.
Accordingly, the meeting was only informed to residents less than a day earlier with invitation letter being put on the gate. Some residents living in low-rise subdivisions said that they even did not get any information about the consultation.
In addition, the meeting was conducted at 3:30 pm when most of the people were going to work and could not participate.
“The investor is just cheating us. The information about the detailed planning is too short to grasp. Many people wanted to copy the paper of the planning but the investor did not agree,” said a resident.
She added that most of the meeting attendants are the elderly and those living in high-rise subdivision and having no direct interest.
“When those people having no direct interest do not want to submit their votes, the staff of Gamuda Land gathered their names and signatures while leaving the content blank,” a person living in the area added.
The tensions between residents and investors continue increasing last weekend as residents of Gamuda Gardens hanged banners denouncing the investor as a faith breaker and requiring the investor to construct primary and secondary schools as well as the communal house.
Answering TheLEADER, Gamuda Land says that the adjustment of the Gamuda Gardens urban plan is in accordance with the law of Vietnam as well as the reality and change of the market rules after eight years since the construction permit approved by the Hanoi People's Committee in 2010.
The investor cites the Article 46 of Urban Planning Law No. 30/2009/QH12 on Urban Planning Review, saying that the urban plan must be periodically reviewed and evaluated in order to make timely adjustments in line with the socio-economic development situation in each period.
The review period for general plan and zoning plan shall be five years, the detailed planning shall be three years from the approval date on the urban plan.