The Penang Island City Council has REJECTED a massive project at the Penang Turf Club on various grounds – but concerned residents and Penangites are not letting down their guard.
The rejection comes on the heels of a petition dated 31 October 2016 by nearby residents expressing strong objections to the project.
The project involves the following:
Parcel 2: One 24-storey tower for 389 affordable homes and 16 double-storey shoplots
Parcel 3A: Two 22-storey towers for 228 apartments
Parcel 3B: Two 26-storey towers for 278 apartments and four five-storey blocks for 64 apartments
The developer is Berjaya Land Development Sdn Bhd
In a letter dated 24 January 2017, the City Council said it was rejecting the project based on the following grounds:
- No hill land approval
- Failing to comply with the city council’s density guidelines
- Failing to comply with the city council’s guidelines for the provision of community amenities
- Failing to comply with the city council’s guidelines for the provision of low-medium-cost housing
But one concerned Penangite warned that it was too early to celebrate. The developer could attempt to work on and around these grounds for rejection and submit a fresh plan.
She also noted that the notification of rejection doesn’t mention anything about the project site obstructing natural waterways, which was among the concerns of the Jesselton residents.
Neither did the notification of the rejection mention anything about the impact of the additional traffic from 2,226 new parking bays and 5,000 additional residents on the entire vicinity.
The following should be considered:
Is the retention pond for water run-off from the diverted streams in the Batu Gantung area sufficient? Or is it only sufficient for the needs of the area under development?
What about the other tributaries and water sources from above? Has the impact of all the flooding risks been fully considered?
Is it true that the JPS has asked the United Hokkien Cemeteries for extra retention areas and that they have refused? Will JPS approve the drainage plan in any case?
Traffic Impact Assessment
Has this been done? Apparently, during the objection hearing, this was requested for. Could civil society groups like Penang Forum have a look?
Hill land committtee approval
The approval for the hill cutting was apparently based on bungalow lots in the original plan. But that was then. Now, the density has apparently been increased and there are high-rise blocks planned.
The revised plan has not yet been approved. But hill-cutting continued relentlessly, badly scarring the hill-side.
Many trees have been removed
How many trees have already been removed? About 500?
Where have they been replanted? And how many have survived.
The Brook Road access road has not been approved, but is it true that an access road has been indicated?
It was only in 2007-2008 that Penangites campaigned hard to save the Turf Club land from the massive development planned under the Penang Global City Centre project – only for this to happen now.
How is it possible that public land that was originally given to the Turf Club for a nominal sum for public recreational purposes is now being developed for huge private profits?
See how a valuable public asset – part of the Commons – has over the years been turned into a private development. How much has the state or MBPP – ie the people – received in return compared to the profits that private interests stand to reap? Can any value adequately make up for the loss of such a treasure?