Development plan rebuked by city governmentThe Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced a plan on Friday to develop a greenbelt near Suseo Station in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, to make way for 1,900 public housing apartments.
But the Seoul Metropolitan Government opposed the project the same day, saying that the ministry had not consulted with the city government and that it suspected the housing plan to be a gimmick to turn the area into a commercial zone.
According to the ministry’s plan, three areas will be developed near the station: a transit transfer center to link different modes of public transportation, a commercial complex and the public housing zone.
The total size of the area to be developed is estimated around 386,000 square meters (95.4 acres).
The ministry said it will select the site for the residential area this year and seek approval for the construction early next year.
“Through the project, we can encourage young people to come into this area and create more jobs that will promote the national economy,” said Kim Jeong-ryeol, director of the Public Housing Construction Bureau.
However, the Seoul Metropolitan Government criticized the ministry’s project, claiming that only 17 percent of the development will go to the public housing project.
The city government further questioned whether the ministry’s real aims were to turn the protected land into a commercial zone.
“We acknowledge the district has potential to become a crucial hub for nationwide railway traffic,” said an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, “but implementing this development project without a comprehensive review by the city government is unacceptable.”
The official continued that a project on the scale of the land development requires meticulous planning and cooperation, and the lack of consultation has made them suspicious of the ministry’s true motives.
However, the official added that the city government agreed with the need for development near Suseo Station and that it would support a plan once it is cleared step by step.
BY KIM WON-BAE [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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