High density ‘KIV’ ruffles feathers

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It looks as if the MPPP’s announcement of a freeze in applications for high-density development has caused a stir.

I suspect there must have been frantic behind-the-scenes lobbying by vested interests as soon as the MPPP’s earlier announcement was made public – for obvious reasons.

During a meeting with Penang Forum reps on 18 October, the MPPP had announced that new high density property applications would be held back pending a review of the high density 87 units/acre guideline. The review was to seek clarification on what constitutes a transit node and to allow streamlining with the Penang Transport Masterplan.

And now this…

This report from the Malay Mail:

State govt says no freeze on density guideline
Friday, October 26, 2012 – 12:26
by A. Sangeetha
Location:
GEORGE TOWN

THE state government has clarified that there is no freeze on the density guideline, contrary to what the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) said at the Penang Forum last week.

Local government and traffic management committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the council had no jurisdiction to withdraw or freeze the guideline of 87 units an acre because it was the responsibility of the State Planning Committee (SPC).

“When SPC approved the density guideline, it was circulated to the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda), Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) and others in 2010,” he said.

“Whichever parts that were not clear, MPPP has decided to finetune those parts. They have not been abandoned, only that MPPP is working on it and would return to SPC to adopt any amendments.”

Last week, MPPP president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail told the forum, made of various non-governmental organisations here, the guideline would be “kept in view”.

Penang residents welcomed the move to freeze the guideline as they claimed increased density would create a negative impact on the environment and worsen traffic on the island.

However, Chow said the guideline had not been frozen, “rather new conditions are being imposed to redefine it”.

“This caused confusion on the part of MPPP. They were probably not clear because of the finetuning,” he said.

“The new conditions for development applications include the submission of a traffic impact assessment (TIA) report, identifying the issue of setback between existing and new developments, and whether community amenities would be surrendered back to MPPP.”

The State Planning Committee has to clarify on what basis the maximum density was raised from 30 units/acre to 87 units/acre in the first place and if there was any public consultation before the increase in density. Has it explained to the public the rationale for the higher density and whether the existing infrastructure can support it?

READ MORE:  Tanjung Bungah hill clearings breach 250-feet threshold

The larger issue here is the lack of separation of powers between state governments and local councils to protect the public interest (rather than vested or developers’ interests). Another reason why we need an elected local council.

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9 Comments on "High density ‘KIV’ ruffles feathers"

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mmc
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mmc

ong,

when were you when the hillside developments were approved by UMNOputras?

Ong Eu Soon
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i voted against the stupid government in the last election and all the previous elections and finally be able give to KTK a boot and sent him packing to KL.

tunglang
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Confusing than Confucius. Ping pong ding-dong.
By the end of the day, the men in the streets are more confused.
I agree with Malcolm Swalk – politicians should be political salesmen than professionals.

See if your head can follow my venerable Bruce Lee ping pong for Nokia: Bruce Lee- Ping Pong

Yang
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Yang
Its has all been stated very clear with a consensus among the PR that there will no hudud. Only liar keep coming here to lie. Nachip must clear the air on the Scorpene and Altutanya. He must clear the air on HUDUD FOR ALL. Its clear that Najib cannot make a decision. Its clear that UMNO and the Mud will overide him to make hudud for all possible. Mudyiddin start with the scrapping of English for Math and Science. … Soon Hudud (may) be implemented for all. And the Cheap is still dumb. With land scare Penang, 87 units per… Read more »
Gerakan K
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Gerakan K

WARNING AGAIN !!! This is LGE administration !!!

It is PING PONG policy again !!! Yes we want hudud, no we don’t want hudud. No, hudud is non-negotiable. Pheww, so tired ~

It is clear that Penangites have made the wrong choice in last election. Angel gomen kah ??? It is more like developer gomen !!!

p/s: Tunglang, your assessment is again proven correct !!!

malcolm swalk
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malcolm swalk
Traffic Impact Assessments aren’t the way to get us out of the mess. Everybody knows TIAs are paid for by the developers and can be made to reflect any desired outcome. The imposition of these requirements only stymie the submission process and make for a long, tedious and withdrawn procedure, already choked by all manner of bureaucracy. Which translates to higher costs passed on to the consumer. Make no mistake, TIAs can state anything. The only way TIAs can be meaningful would be if they were done inhouse, by MPPP, and there exists within the system itself, all necessary traffic… Read more »
Kevin
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Kevin
Exactly how I feel. Having the developer appoint its own consultants to do a TIA is like appointing a rapist to be the judge in his own trial. MPPP has to appoint an independent consultant and charge the developers for it. More importantly MPPP has to be independent and that involves local council elections. What is happening now is blatant abuse of power by the state govt. It has no business getting involved in town planning. This is like the federal govt wanting to get involved in garbage collection and disposal. Totally ridiculous. Like u said, professionals have to be… Read more »
malcolm swalk
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malcolm swalk

Lim Mah Hui to take charge of MPPP! I second that.

Ong Eu Soon
Guest

The truth is that lgE can’t afford to abandon the SP chelliah project which is with density of 199 units/acre. After I pointed it out in Anil’s blog, lgE has no choice but to intervene and ask MPPP to withdraw the ban of high density development. Penang Forum only know how to ask for credit when i am the one who in the forefront fighting against high density development, hill slope and seafront development and unplanned and unmanned transportation management.