Hanoi firm proposes building parking lot in popular park, locals indignant
A local company which seeks to build a parking lot in a Hanoi park claims it is essential though locals vehemently oppose it.
The Tay Ho Urban Development and Investment JSC has submitted to city authorities a proposal to build an underground parking lot at Cau Giay Park in its namesake district, 10 km west of Hanoi's center.
The proposal seeks 1.45 hectares (3.58 acres) of land from the northeastern part of the 10-hectare park for a complex with a parking lot and a trade center that will cost VND565 billion ($24.4 million).
There will be three basements, with the lower two serving as parking lots for 874 cars. The first basement will be a 12,000-square-meter complex with a movie theater, event venue, children's playground, gym, and mall.
To compensate for the park's lost green space, the company will build a flower garden and children's playground.
In its proposal, the company has claimed the project is needed since the apartment buildings in the vicinity lack parking space.
Their parking lots only have a combined capacity of 477 cars, while 682 other cars are parked on sidewalks, it said. With 6,000 households living there, things were sure to worsen in future, the company added.
Hanoi authorities had awarded a contract to the Tay Ho Urban Development and Investment JSC to build an underground parking lot in Trung Yen Park, also in Cau Giay District.
But the company said the park's soil is not conducive to construction and 60 local households protested against it, and so it would prefer to build it in Cau Giay Park instead.
The city authorities seem favourably inclined to the proposal though on the conditions the trees that are uprooted must be replanted in the park, the project must have three to five floors underground for parking while the building above ground must not be higher than one story and the construction area must not exceed 5 percent of the project's land.
The city Department of Planning and Investment has voiced support for the project, saying it dovetails with the planning for the area.
According to the department, the city has planned for the project's proposed site to be for urban greenery and has proposed researching into building 3 concentrated parking lots, each with an area of about 4,000 square meters, in a radius of 500 meter from the site for the Dich Vong urban area.
But many residents in Dich Vong Ward have voiced opposition to the project, saying each apartment building has one to three basements that ensure enough parking space.
A five-story parking lot was also built recently just 100 meters from the park, they pointed out.
They also said the urban plans for the area around the park already include five other parking lots which are yet to be built and many plots of land outside the park are being used by trespassers to play tennis and football and as beer clubs because projects there have been being delayed.
"Why don't they reclaim the lands to build parking lots instead of taking land from the park?"
The local residents also said the investor's plan to replant trees mainly involved shrubs, and nearly 900 cars going in and out of the area frequently would bring air and noise pollution to the neighborhood.
They stressed that there were several malls, gyms and movie theaters within a radius of two kilometres, and so building such a complex in the park would be completely unnecessary.