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Jeju Bunma Iho Land development haltedLocals resist privatization of beach and large-scale development
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승인 2014.07.23  11:43:48
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Original article in Media Jeju. Translation by Yuna Kim

Jeju Bunma Iho Land is the latest Chinese-financed project to be reviewed on Jeju Island. The development would have seen the partial privatization of Iho Taewoo Beach.

The Jeju Landscape Deliberation Committee decided on July 18 to review the project in response to public opinion against the project.

Jeju Bunma Iho Land is a 276,218 square-meter project including an amusement park with hotels, condos, a marina, marine museum and water park. It is managed by Iho Amusement Park Development Project of Jeju City.

Bunma Group resubmitted plans in November 2013 which saw the costs for the project increase nearly threefold from 421 billion won to 1.26 trillion won. The revised plans include condominiums, an amusement park and large casino, a shopping mall and convention facilities, to be completed by 2018.

The committee reduced the condominium size from six to eight stories to three to five due to the obscuring of pine trees behind the site. Any privatization of the beach and the yachting area has also been put on hold.

Even before the investment of Bunma Group, the plans included 37,878 square meters of public water at Iho Beach. A Jeju City official told Jeju Sori that local land and waters were included in the initial 2002 plans and these still stand. However, the official added that the casino is not included.

There is some local resistance to the plans and particularly what is seen as the privitization of the beach. Local residents fear they will lose the community atmosphere that the beach brings particularly around the Jeju Iho Tewoo Festival every summer. Others worry that locals might be restricted in using the beach.

Public opinion may have a bearing on the park as the 2008 Jeju Bunma Iho Land agreement states that locals should not be inconvenienced by the development.

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