Uproar over Soho project near Queensbay

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Residents of Bayan Bay are unhappy about plans for massive development and land reclamation near their area, which is already close to the massive RM10bn Penang World City project. Small office/home office (Soho) projects are creating unease in various ways and that has prompted a freeze on all new projects for now – but that doesn’t mean the project won’t proceed in the future. To placate the residents, they have been told that the height of the proposed buidlings will be reduced.

Meanwhile, Soho buyers elsewhere are disgruntled at having to pay higher commercial rates for assessment even as developers reap handsome profits e.g. by building at a higher (commercial) density.

This Soho mess was easily foreseen by many quarters.

The following press statement was issued by residents in the Bayan Bay area.

Photograph: fz.com
Photograph: fz.com

We, the representative of Bay Garden, Bay Star, Gold Coast, Putra Marine, Putra Place and Villa Emas condominium and residential properties issue this joint press release to express our deep feelings and views of the proposed development in this vicinity of Queensbay.

We wish to highlight what our Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng said: “We (Penang) need to have more green spaces. We (the Penang Government) are trying to create green areas and public space for the people”.

How can the intended development of Queensbay with a massive development of 1900 units of condominium help to create green areas for the people?

The real impact of this chaotic development would be experienced by Bay Garden, where the rising sun and air flow will be blocked by the proposed Sohos which are 26 storeys high. Piling and building works will pose a danger to the residents and the houses of Bay Garden and, what’s more, add to the massive road congestion every day.

This development will spill over into the surrounding areas with the proposed reclamation of land immediately affecting the residents of Gold Coast. Such reclamation should not be done nor allowed as land reclamation of the area has been done to the maximum allowed 20 years ago.

Bay Star has a beautiful bay facing Pulau Jerejak. Under the previous developer, CP Landmark Sdn Bhd, the proposal was to build 300-plus super condos, and the narrow strip of land at the back of Baystar is to be built with buildings not more than four storeys high.

But now the proposed massive development of eight storeys (five storeys with a three-storey car park) will cut off the sea view of residents and add a road to bring traffic to the backyard of Baystar.

How can this be social justice and fairness when the tranquility and beautiful view of the existing residents are taken away and given to another group of private individuals of this massive development?

At present, the Bay is likened to the West Lake of Hang Zhou, with its natural beauty, calm and scenic landscape. To do more land reclamation would be to destroy this picturesque bay which we now have. This is irreplaceable. Can we have another bay like this?

The width between our current shoreline and Pulau Jerejak was maximised at that time of CP Landmark Sdn Bhd; why is there a suggestion to further reclaim land now? What is the environmental impact that we will face?

There is also the air flight path. How can the DCA approve the construction of a 26-storey building in the area of an air flight path? Are we preparing to let accidents to come by? Any flight accidents will pose great danger and damage to all the residents living in the proposed 26-storey buildings, Bay Star, Bay Garden and Gold Coast condominium and all the surrounding areas.

The formation of commissions to find reasons to explain a catastrophic flight accident occurring is not the way to deal with a problem. Address the issue now; we want the Director General of Civil Aviation authority to give to us a written assurance that the construction of a 26-storey condominium is safe and good for the residents mentioned.

What we want here in Queensbay is a reflection of an idealised fusion between human and nature with all the potential to develop it into the sort of environment, i.e. “More green and open spaces, pocket parks/gardens”, which our CM hopes to do as part of the Cleaner Greener Penang initiative.

We issue this press statement so that we look forward to the support of our state representative, especially the Chief Minister’s leadership in safeguarding the interest, rights and welfare of Bayan Baru and Penang, and that this state government is of the people, for the people and by the people.

The representatives of the above condominium and residential properties

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bowen

The same thing is happening in BN-controlled Johor Bahru where a large stretch of Pantai Lido has been closed for land reclamation for new high rise condominium cum mixed development linking to Danga Bay (China developer’s Country Garden project targeting China Chinese and affluent Singaporeans, and the Tropicana mixed development zone).

This is a common city development in Malaysia. Better retreat to small town to enjoy better living away from problems of high density and congestion.

Yang

A once beautiful seaside has now become an expensive concrete jungle. Hopefully the beautiful sea side opposite Pulau Jerejak leading up to Batu Maung will not be consumed by this mad CAT

henson

More SoHos more super-condos more revenues for Penang Gomen thru taxes; then can afford to pay more than currently the annual RM100 to the Seniors Lah. Otherwise you think you can draw funds from the Federal Gomen ? Some of you just complaint. Should think of opportunities. Once over-vbuilt, the prices will eventually crash then you go in to buy them cheap cheap lah. Anyway, Villa Emas owners most don’t give a damn. They once complaint Gold Coast Condo development blocking their seaview of Jerejak. Now Goad Coast owners face the same problem which they ignore Villa Emas folks some… Read more »

kee

Awang, i agree, seteruk teruknya Pakatan is any time better than BN.

Are you sure, you can count on gerakan, that useless party ???

We are not voting for a perfect party as it is non existence but a lesser devil…

Awang Selamat Ori

My dear bro, but, LGE had been a disappointment. Since I had been able to exercise my right to vote, I had never voted BN. It had always been PAS! Sorry bro, no matter what I will never vote BN, but, then LGE should go after 2 terms. Enough is enough of his blunderings. Personal charisma can only take one so far, but, he needs to show leadership quality. a strong and organized administration. Now, things are no better than when it was under BN. He lacks leadership quality. He is a CM but he always think he is an… Read more »

kee

Yuk Lo, being selfish that is human nature.

Yuk Lo

I think the early condominium settlers at Bayan Baru is kind of selfish in the sense that they want to have ‘exclusive’ ownership of the area. Are they not the very first people who have displaced the original kampong folks of Bayan Baru?

Anyway I think the developer of WorldCity ought to improve the connectivity of that place with LRT. But I doubt Ivory will do it since it has never fulfilled its promise of and LRT in Time Square Penang.

Yang

Yuk Lo : Everybody is selfish but the worse is the party and leaders like DAP and LGE that you vote in are also selfish

Kevin

I second that. I know building these SOHO units will destroy the view, the environment and the peace of the existing area but there are already condominiums there and the people protesting are the people who pioneered the destruction. This is a case of pot calling the kettle black. What stupid logic is it that you reclaimed land right at the seafront and built a house on place with a nice beautiful view, gate the area up, deprive everyone else of the area and the view and now you say that others are not allowed to return the favour to… Read more »

bigjoe99

Its only a proposal by the developer..Do you expect developers not to try?

Awang Selamat Ori

Welcome to the world of SOHOs. Penang had never had SOHOs so LGE proposes to build 1,900 for Penangnites because he loves Penangnites so much or his developer friends? The time has come for all Penangnites to rise and tell LGE to go fly kite. Improve governance, do not continue to approve projects indiscriminately. All these SOHOs, can Penangnites absorb all those or are foreigners buying up all these at the expense of poor Penangnites on land, which could be built for ordinary Penangnites? All these SOHOs in a way will complement the many budget hotels that are mushrooming up… Read more »

tunglang

Where is Penang’s Local Plan?
Or has it, while playing perpetual hide+seek morphed into Penang+KL Developers’ Plan?
I am hearing (ringing in the ears) Yam Seng cheers in the privacy of rich & famous developers’ toasting dinners in honour of CAT Diety Minister @ Komtar Tower of Cosmopolitan Frenzies.

Did we unknowingly participate in “You Asked For It” TV Show for 308 tsunami?

Yang

There are young, middle age, and old people, educated & less educated, rich, middle and low income people and they are getting disgruntled against DAP LGE and Pakatan more and more by the day. We do not owe anyone a living less so the politicians whether DAP, PKR PAS LGE, Anwar or BN Najib, KTK. We support and think what we think is right and what will benefit us just like the millions of Malaysian or millions of people in other countries supporting whoever they think deemed fit and will benefit them. If you think others are turn coat, ask… Read more »

Yang

… CAT boast that there will be no assessment increase but allowed more Soho that increase assessment. Yes many TOL land assessment have been increased 100% along the Jelutong and Weld Quay area. Now this is the CAT that you bring in to gnaw at you and if you do not wake up you will be gnawed until skin bone

henson

I heard those at Bayan Baru’s Mahsuri (1-World) area bought condos many not realize they have to pay commercial rate for their home assessment (cukai pintu) and utililies !