VietNamNet Bridge – The HCM City People's Committee has agreed to the Department of Planning and Architecture's proposal to remove 29 old villas from a conservation list and issue construction permits that would allow owners to repair or build new additions.


Of the 29 villas, 17 have already been demolished and remain vacant or have begun construction. Another 12 villas have been partitioned with separate legal owners, and have made repairs or built additions.

The committee has entrusted the department with disseminating regulations on construction permits to investors and People's Committees in districts 1, 3, 5 and Binh Thanh.

It has also directed the Construction Department and local authorities to closely monitor other old villas to prevent illegal partitions or new construction.

The city administration has also urged the Department of Planning and Architecture to work the HCM City Institute for Development Studies on drafting criteria for evaluation and classification of old villas.

The city also asked the two agencies to draft regulations on management of any work built on old villa areas not on the conservation list.

The regulations would be used to decide removal off the conservation list or the issuance of construction permits.

According to the Department of Planning and Architecture, more than 41 old villas since last year have asked to be upgraded or removed from the list to build new construction works.

These villas cannot be included on the conservation list under Ministry of Construction regulation as they have not maintained their initial architecture.

From the Department of Planning and Architecture's perspective, the villas do not need to be evaluated or assessed before construction permits are issued to residents to repair or upgrade the building.

According to the Centre for Research Architecture under the Department of Planning and Architecture, there are around 1,350 old valuable houses and villas, mostly in District 1 and 3.

The centre has an inventory of 500 construction works. It expects to finish the inventory by early next year.

The centre, in its research, has found that some old buildings "disappeared" because they were demolished to build new construction projects.

The conservation of old buildings faces many difficulties because of budget deficiencies, shortages in human resources as well as a lack of a cooperative attitude of some owners, according to the centre.

Along with apartment buildings in disrepair, some old houses and villas are considered by locals to be dangerous and have a negative effect on the urban aesthetic.

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