Brit ambassador denies completion of embassy land deal

The British ambassador’s grand residence on Wireless Road.
The British ambassador’s grand residence on Wireless Road.

Brian Davidson, the British Ambassador to Thailand, has said that his government has not yet inked a deal to sell their beautiful embassy, grounds and ambassador’s residence on Wireless Road “despite rumors.”

His announcement was made at a press event at his home, on the parcel in question, on Tuesday.

Though he did admit the land was for sale, he claimed to have no news to share despite a Voice TV report in February announcing that Central Group purchased the embassy’s remaining 23-rai of land for a record-breaking price of THB20 billion.

The same group bought the first 9.5-rai from the British Embassy a decade ago and used it to build the luxurious Central Embassy mall, which took its name from the British Embassy.

Running contrary to Davidson’s denial, Prin Chirathivat, Executive Director of the Central Group, told Prachachat in February that a branch of his company planned to turn the former embassy into a huge mixed-use property connected to Central Embassy mall.

Completed or not, the sale is looming and will be one of the largest land deals in Thai history.

The British government has never made any comment on why they’d sell the grand old estate to begin with. Netizens have wondered if a cash crunch for the embassy could be related to Brexit.

Davidson did make reference to Brexit in his speech on Tuesday, but only as an aside and as a vehicle to make relations stronger between Thailand and the UK, reported Thaivisa.

However, without their downtown anchor, the site of many grand parties and fairs over the years, they certainly won’t seem like the powerful old colonial giant of yesteryear.

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