A TOP ranking Zhuhai city housing official has told surprised local developers they should concentrate on building and running large, self-contained estates capable of housing as many as 50,000 people, rather than constructing single residential units. Speaking at a recent property exhibition and seminar, Wang An Lin, the city's Housing Administration bureau chief, told developers they should also help with building the required infrastructure in these estates. This would include roads, sewers, clinics, schools, hospitals and even swimming pools and tennis courts, to meet the local population's growing needs. He added the current emphasis on constructing single units only caused transportation headaches. The estates would allow people to work, live and play in the same location, easing the city's burden. And, in a statement which appeared to leave developers stunned, Mr Wang told his audience that once built, it was up to them to manage the estates. According to Mr Wang, the Zhuhai government will begin immediately building a couple of these estates as part of a pilot project. He said the government would set up a bureau called the Small Community Planning Bureau to oversee their development. Mr Wang said: ''This is a natural way to develop after the people have achieved a higher standard of living and higher consumer purchasing power.'' He said single structures that simply offered 10,000 or 20,000 square metres did not satisfy the requirements of today's buyers. Mr Wang warned developers if they did not adopt the new style developments, they would find their properties hard to sell in the future. ''The formation of the consumer market is happening,'' he said. ''The property market is a consumer market. It is the buyer who has the choice. ''You had better start to build things to meet the consumers' aspirations because people's growing demands will require it.'' While some developers appeared taken aback by the announced scheme, others thought it was not a bad idea. One said: ''If the plot of land is less than 100,000 square metres, then it should not be the developer's job to build all of the infrastructure. ''But, if the size of the estate covers 200,000 square metres, it should be possible for the developer to include the basic needs of a small community.'' Meanwhile, Mr Wang announced the city government would construct five different types of housing to meet the needs of the local population. These will include higher priced units which are now solely being constructed by developers. They will also build lower cost housing which, until now, has also been the sole job of local developers. In all, they have allocated one million square metres for this kind of housing and expect the project to be completed in three years.