PHUKET: The controversial new road planned to provide access to Freedom Beach, south of Patong, took a step closer to becoming reality as the project passed its third and final public hearing on Friday.

About 80 of the 100 participants who joined the hearing, held at the Patong Merlin Hotel, voted to approve the project, rebounding from a 64 per cent approval vote from the 50-plus attendees at the second hearing on October 15 last year (story

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