|Free the beach: A public beach is seen in My Khe beach in Son Tra district. The central city of Da Nang plans to open more roads to the beach for local people in response to public opinion saying that beach resorts built up fencing walls to prevent local people using beaches for free. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh
DA NANG (VNS ) — The central city of Da Nang has urged investors of beach resorts to dismantle barriers to allow local people to use beaches freely and easily.
The decision was announced by the chairman of the city's people's committee, Huynh Duc Tho at an architecture and planning meeting last week.
The decision was in response to public opinions given at the people's council meeting earlier this year when many beach resorts along the coastal road connecting Da Nang and Hoi An were left undeveloped and made beaches inaccessible.
Five star resorts and hotels have sprung up along the 25km beach road that links Da Nang and Hoi An city, leaving few public beaches.
This resulted in overcrowding at My Khe beach when thousands of people arrived on hot days.
Dozens of resorts in Ngu Hanh Son district built steel fence walls to protect their undeveloped area on beach, but none have begun construction.
"The city will negotiate with undeveloped resort owners to open access to public beaches for local people," Tho said.
"The city had allocated land for beach resort investors, but we will persuade them to dismantle the barriers," he said.
He said the beach area outside investors land must be left free for the public.
At the meeting, the city's party secretary Tran Tho emphasized that it was the public's right to use the beach in Da Nang.
He asked departments to discuss with investors how to create beach space for local people and tourists.
Beachside resorts and entertainment centres along coastal roads from Vo Nguyen Giap in Son Tra district to Ngu Hanh Son district all occupy a large beach area in front of their buildings.
The city's chairman instructed the construction department to open 15m or 20m wide roads to the beach so locals and tourists could use it.
"I stressed that the construction department has to encourage investors to dismantle their barriers or fencing walls of their projects. The city should support investors in clearing barriers," he said.
Beach resorts and hotels stand side by side along the 20km coastal road, so local people had to pay to use beaches or use crowded public beaches.
The chairman also said that the city would revoke investment licenses from investors if they do not open roads to beaches for local people and tourists.
On My Khe beach in Son Tra district, a large area of beach was occupied by the Holiday Beach hotel.
"The hotel, which was built opposite the public beach, has decks, umbrellas and mini bars. There is not any beach space for us," said Huynh Thanh Van, a local resident.
The city will also review all beach projects to ensure more beach space for the public.
"I could see rare public beaches from Ho Xuan Huong street in Ngu Hanh Son district to Hoi An for the public. Local people aren't able to use the beaches," Tho concluded.
He suggested the departments of Planning and Investment and construction reserve more beaches for the public in the future.
He said it's very urgent to open more public beaches for local people.
Nguyen Duc Vu, deputy head of beach and tourism managing board, said the city had 30km of coast line, but there are only eight public beaches in Ngu Hanh Son, Son Tra and Thanh Khe district.
"These beaches are always crowded in summer. It's almost overloaded at public beaches, while local people can't afford to use the beaches at five-star resorts," Vu said.
In a meeting last year, the city shortlisted 12 coastal development projects whose business licences will be revoked because construction had been slow or unduly delayed. — VNS