CityNews – Wat Lam Chang issued a clarification of a dispute over an alleged hotel being constructed next to the temple.
A dispute has erupted among Lam Chang community in Sri Phum regarding a nearly two rai piece of land next to Wat Lam Chang which has allegedly been lent from the temple to a private owner for a commercial purpose.
As the area is an abandoned temple, locals raised concerns that the land is being used in an improper way. They claim that the area will be used for hotel.
Wat Lam Chang’s abbot stated that the temple was once called Wat Ton Poon, first established around 14th – 15th century. In 1957, the abbot of Wat Ton Poon lent the temple to the private sector to start a school. When the school closed down in 2015, the rental agreement was managed by the Chaing Mai Provincial Office of Buddhism who has been trying to lend out the area ever since.
It is claimed they rented out the area to a private entrepreneur who planned to build a hotel. However, local people have objected to the idea, delaying the rental process.
In May 2017, the area was advertised to rent on social media. The cost was set at 30 million baht for a 30 year contract or 50 million baht for a negotiable long-term contract. The area covers over 1 rai of land with seven disused buildings. The latest report revealed that a request for construction company was filed to the Chiang Mai Municipality asking permission to build a ‘hospitality school’ in the area.
Wat Lam Chang’s abbot revealed that his temple has requested the Chaing Mai Provincial Office of Buddhism to rent the area to create a cultural learning centre. The request has been denied due the existing requests and discussions with potential investors.