Batu Ferringhi residents have launched an online petition expressing concern about high-rise high-density projects that could mar the tranquil setting (what remains of it) of this popular coastline.
This is the link to the petition.
Meanwhile, the Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020, which is the overriding planning document for Penang (just below the National Physical Plan), has this to say about the area. Note the densities specified:
Priority Areas and Development Corridors
DSU5 Secondary development corridors will focus on upgrading and controlled development, low scale and low to medium density; for purpose of housing development, limited tourism/eco tourism, limited commercial, agro industry, handicraft industry and other village development of low impact.
DSU5 L1 to define development in the Secondary Development Corridor as follows:
Tanjong Bungah – Telok Bahang Corridor represents the existing tourism corridor which has undergone rapid development with 5 star hotels. Infill development that is low to medium density will be permitted for zones that have been designated for general housing (15 units per acre), low density housing (6 units per acre), and general /limited tourism and commercial (plot ratio 1:1). Features of natural beauty such as beach resorts, hills and forests will continue to be preserved as main assets of development in the corridor. For Telok Bahang, village development and eco tourism will be given focus with the Pulau Pinang National Park as the main focal point. Local commercial development that will be encouraged are support activities to tourism development in this corridor….
DSU9 L3: Develop settlements that have functions and specific characteristics according to their potential and uniqueness.
Batu Feringghi, Tanjong Bungah and Telok Bahang are settlements identified as having specific function as Tourism Centres (Beach Coastal Towns)
DS14 To consolidate and improve the tourism industry as one of the main economic generatrors in the state of Penang to the third sector 52% and second sector of 45% in the year 2010.
DS14 L4: Conserve and safeguard the physical environment and heritage which are considered as major tourism products.
If at all the Structure Plan is out of date, then it has to go through a proper review process and be put for public display and feedback. It cannot be arbitrarily overridden.