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Disney

Massive demolition work under way near Shanghai Disneyland to remove illegal buildings

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 2:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 4:21pm

Shanghai has begun a massive programme to demolish illegal buildings surrounding the Disney theme park ahead of its official opening in June, according to a news website report.

Zhangjiang, one of three towns next to Disneyland in the Pudong district, said it would use drones to patrol the area to make sure there was a “zero increase in illegal buildings” the, Shanghai-based news website Thepaper.cn reported.

About 120,000 square metres of structures built without approval have been pulled down in the town over the past two months, according to the report.

READ MORE: How Shanghai Disneyland’s tickets will cost more (and less) than Hong Kong’s

These included illegally built homes in an area with high-voltage power lines passing overhead that were demolished on Monday.

The power lines send electricity to main roads near the park and last year a migrant worker living in one of makeshift houses electrocuted himself, officials said.

Illegal buildings started to appear in the area 10 years ago as temporary dormitories for construction workers and were not demolished after building projects were completed.

They were later also used as storage space or temporary offices by small companies and pose a fire risk, according to officials.

The local authorities said officials had informed residents before the demolition programme and cut electricity and water supplies, the report said.

Forced evictions would only take place if people still refused to leave, officials were quoted as saying.

READ MORE: One country, two Disneys: can Shanghai and Hong Kong theme parks share the spoils in battle for the tourism dollar?

The demolition programme in one area of Zhanjiang is due to be completed in two weeks.

Trees will be planted in the area to create a space for the public to relax and exercise, officials said.

Chuansha New Town is planning to pull down buildings covering 300,000 square metres near the theme park, according to the report.

Ji Renkang, the director of the town’s urban administration department, was quoted as saying that it would focus on improving the environment in an area of one square kilometres near the east gate of Disneyland through upgrading old houses and landscaping.