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Series of Lawsuits Filed against Ministry of Construction and Transportation

Series of Lawsuits Filed against Ministry of Construction and Transportation

Posted June. 08, 2005 06:43,   


Regarding the government land development project under the Housing Land Development Law, local residents and governments have come forward against the project, filing actions for nullity citing the devastation of the environment and ignorance of the residents’ opinions.

More tensions are expected as the government is planning to build housing complexes for 100,000 rental houses by developing greenbelt zones into residential areas.

A Series of Complaints-

Four residents, including a 41-year-old man living in Seochang-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon, and the Incheon Federation for Environment Movement filed a lawsuit with the Incheon District Court for the nullification of the plan designating the land development zone against the Ministry of Construction and Transportation on June 7.

They call on the government to withdraw the plan, claiming the Ministry did not let public opinion be heard in designating the area as a residential land development zone to accommodate 13,000 households in the greenbelt’s Seochang Two district, 634,000 pyeong in area, near the Metropolitan Maritime Ecology Park.

In the lawsuit, they wrote that “the ministry’s plan to put the land development in the area does not comply with the Housing Land Development Law aimed at easing the urgent necessity of housing in cities.” By this December, the housing supply to demand ratio is set to surpass 110 percent, and apartment complexes accommodating 82,000 units are currently under construction, which demonstrates that housing scarcity is not in sight.

The residents and the civic group are calling for the withdrawal of the plan, saying the ministry overused or misused its planning power in that the large-scale development will inevitably entail environmental and ecological devastation and will damage public goods by increasing the likelihood of traffic jams.

This is not the first time a lawsuit such as this has been filed. In March, 155 residents of the greenbelt’s Seokrim district 2 in Seokrim-dong, Seosan City, South Chungcheong Province, filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Administration Court against the ministry as well.

Seokrim residents claimed that the housing supply rate in Seosan, including the houses now approved, exceeded 124 percent, thus making the Ministry’s designation of the area as a housing land development zone without taking residents’ opinions into account, invalid.

In addition, they are preparing for another lawsuit with the Constitutional Court, claiming that the Housing Land Development Law stipulating the mandatory condemnation of land for development violates the property rights of the public.

Opposition from Local Governments-

Gyeonggi Province held a meeting with vice mayors and county chiefs on June 7 and decided that the province would reject a revised bill on basic city planning if the Ministry pushes for the development without any further concessions.

The province expressed a strong opposition to the ministry’s unilateral announcement of the Anseong New Town Development Plan without any prior consultation with the province concerning the development’s lots of 1.2 million pyeong in area in Oksan-dong, Anseong City.

Yoo Sung-yong, a land development manager in the rental housing department under the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, responded that “a housing supply rate of over 100 percent does not necessarily mean the end of housing scarcity for the part of the public that does not own their own home,” adding, “There should be no problem in designating a housing land development zone since the ministry makes decisions based on opinions from local governments and after consultations with relevant ministries.”