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Seoul city rejects Shilla's plan for hanok hotel again

All News 15:58 January 21, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul city government has rejected Hotel Shilla's plan to build a traditional accommodation in central Seoul for the third time, officials said Thursday.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government decided Wednesday to put on hold the plan to erect a hotel built in the style of a traditional Korean house within the compound of the luxury accommodation affiliate of South Korea's biggest conglomerate, Samsung Group.

There has long been controversy over the destruction of the natural scenery versus the vitalization of the country's tourism industry.

Hotel Shilla submitted a modified construction plan reducing the structure from four stories above ground and below to three each, and cutting the number of rooms from 207 to 91. The distance from the fortress wall of Hanyang, the old name of Seoul, also increased from 20.5 meters to 29.9 meters.

Despite the fact that the company accepted 90 percent of the city government's demands to improve the plan, experts say the upcoming April general elections may have deterred municipal authorities from making a favorable decision, as it could cause unnecessary controversy over possible privileges given to the family-run conglomerate.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government rejected Hotel Shilla's previous plans in 2012 and 2013.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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