New guidelines allow resorts to build on half of island 

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The tourism ministry has authorised resorts to have a built up area of 50% of its island, up from 30% under the old rules. 

The ministry amended the resort development guidelines on 21 March. Other changes include a reduction in the requirement for minimum beach length per room from 5 metres to 3 metres. 

“For the calculations of beach length per room, beach length to be considered as 60% of the total perimeter of the island (mean tide line),” the ministry explained in a circular.

The maximum structural height for the front of the house buildings including guest rooms was set at 12 metres “and the maximum number of floors allowed shall be 3 meters including the ground floor.”

Back of the housing structures cannot exceed a maximum height of 15 metres. 

Despite the relaxed requirements, the tourism ministry advised developers to “prioritise the preservation of the island’s natural characteristics (specifically vegetation)”. Developers could also “propose unique structures that add value where exceptions to the structural height restrictions could be allowed in accordance with the ministry’s policies.”