Clearing up confusion over villas

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 June, 2006, 12:00am

Beijing is set to clarify the scope of its crackdown on luxury housing developments by defining a villa as a free-standing building with two to three floors, according to a top land official.

But Beijing Business Today reported yesterday that there would still be a loophole for four types of luxury duplex buildings often regarded as villas because Fan Zhiquan , director-general of the Ministry of Land Resources' Department of Registration Management, said a villa would also have its own gate and garden.

The ministry banned the approval of land for building villas and tightened up on land supply for low-density luxury housing late last month in an effort to put more emphasis on the supply of affordable housing. A similar nationwide ban implemented in 2003 was often ignored by local governments, which claimed there was no clear definition of a villa.

'Approved projects can go ahead,' Mr Fan told the newspaper, but applications still pending would not be processed.

It said the definition would mean duplex villas and townhouses could still be approved.

Mr Fan's definition elaborated on one provided by Li Haiyang , a deputy director of the Ministry of Land and Resources' Land Usage Bureau, who in April defined a house with an individual gate and a garden covering a 'large' area as a villa.