Illegal farmhouses taking shape of cruise and airplane in Yilan in NE Taiwan face demolition

(photo courtesy of Yilan County Government)

(photo courtesy of Yilan County Government)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Is that a cruise ship grounded on a Yilan beach? It looks like it, but it is actually an illegal farmhouse, or rather a beach house, which the county government has ordered to be demolished within three months.

Yilan County has been notorious for illegal farmhouses springing up from paddy fields like bamboo shoots. Now new illegal farmhouses even take the shape of a cruise ship and a giant airplane.

Not long ago members of the public found a giant ship 45 meters long and 30 meters wide grounded on the land of Yongzhen Beach in Zhuangwei Township while scouting Google satellite maps, a CNA report said.

However, after careful observation, it is not a real ship, but an illegal farmhouse.

Moreover, people have also spotted three illegal farmhouses in Dongshan Township that are so arranged that from high above they together look like an airplane that had crash landed on a local paddy field, according to the report.

Yilan County Land Administration Department Director Huang Chi-liang told a CNA reporter that after receiving reports from members of the public, the county government had gone to survey the scenes and used a drone to collect evidence. After investigation it’s confirmed that all these buildings are illegal farmhouses, Huang said.

Of these illegal buildings, the ship-like farmhouse, which has an area of 2,260 square meters, is not only violating the regulation of “Agri-land for Agricultural Usage,” the land owner is also suspected of illegally occupying national lands, the report said.

The county government has not only referred the land owner surnamed Cheng to prosecutors for investigation and prosecution but also slapped him with a NT$80,000 fine for violating the Regional Planning Act, according to the report.

As for the airplane-shaped farmhouses, the three illegal buildings, with a total area of 2,600 square meters, belong to three members of a Chang family from Taichung, the report said. The county government has also given out a ticket of NT$80,000 to each owner for violating the Regional Planning Act, according to the report.

Huang said that in addition to slapping them with fines, the county government has also ordered the land owners to finish correcting the problems by demolishing the illegal part of the farmhouses and restoring the lands to agricultural usage within three months, or more tickets will be forthcoming.

(photo courtesy of Yilan County Government)