District officials in Kandal Stung, the site of a massive planned airport project that may displace hundreds of villagers, said this morning that they will negotiate compensation for area residents.

Villagers and officials met at the Kandal Stung District Hall in Kandal province to discuss the dispute, one of several that have erupted in the district since the government in January announced the construction of an airport and mixed-use development on 2,600 hectares.

About 300 area families have been locked in a dispute with oknha Seang Chanheng and her Heng Development Company, which sold some of the land for the new airport to well-connected land developer Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation.

Bun Theng, head of the district council, asked residents to cooperate with village and commune officials as they gathered information about the land's history.

“When we get surveying done and agree on the principles, we will invite the partner to participate to distribute the money," he said. "The partner has to prepare the money in order to solve this dispute.”

District Governor Bou Nareth said officials hope to solve the dispute "as soon as possible, because the company wants it to be quick while the people want it to be quick too”.

“If we can be done this week, it would be better," Nareth said.

Officials today did not specify who the "partner" was or how much compensation the company was offering. Local residents and landowners told The Post in January that land prices soared after the airport announcement to $150,000 to $300,000 per hectare.

Updates to follow.