Appeals Board stays City of Dreams project: Spanner in the (tunnel) works?

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The City of Dreams project site

This has thrown a spanner into the works of the tunnel, hasn’t it. The Appeals Board has granted residents of Seri Tanjung Pinang residents a stay order on the planning permission for the City of Dreams project, which comprises two 39-storey luxury condominium blocks.

After all, the City of Dreams project is on land that the state government has given to highway-tunnel developer Zenith as compensation for building the proposed tunnel and highways. Zenith then entered into a joint venture with Ewein to develop the land. So what happens to the highways/tunnel now?

This is the problem with swap deals. If one side gets sangkut (held up) or rejected as a result of problems with the proper approval process, the other side is affected as well.

And why did the MPPP appeal against the Appeals Board decision? After all, nearby residents had objected. You can see why they were worried here. Moreover, the density of the project is said to be 155 homes/acre – extremely high.

It is amazing or, as Appeals Board chairman Yeo Yang Poh puts it, “absurd” that the MBPP can argue that the Appeals Board does not need to take public interest into account when making such decisions. Whose interest should it take into account then?

Anyway, I would be glad if the tunnel and highways are delayed or halted altogether. We should be thinking of moving people, not cars. What we really need is a street-level light rail and bus rapid transit network across the state.

This report from the Malay Mail:

Penang board chides council for appealing against condo project, orders it to pay RM35,000

By Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, April 13 — The Penang Appeals Board ordered the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) today to pay RM35,000 in total costs after telling it off for appealing against the board’s stay order over a high rise project in Tanjung Pinang off Tanjung Tokong.

The board chairman Datuk Yeo Yang Poh ordered MBPP to pay costs of RM20,000 to the appellants and RM15,000 to the planning applicant.

“The board has powers to grant stay orders as provided under Section 23(3) and Section 36(10)(g) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976,” he said as he rejected MBPP’s submissions that the board did not have the power to order a stay.

The board had granted the appellants, consisting of residents of Seri Tanjung Pinang, a stay order on the planning permission for the project, City Of Dreams, which is made of two 39-storey condominium blocks.

MBPP, in its appeal against the stay order, submitted that the board did not have the power to grant stay orders.

It also argued that the board did not need to take public interest into account when making such decisions.

Yeo labelled the council’s submission that the board do not need to take public interest into account as “absurd”.

“It defies common sense as matters of public interest is certainly relevant in the function of the board,” he said.

He said all aspects of the planning law was in the interest of the public and that it was the board’s responsibility to take into account public interest.

He pointed out that the issue of the board not having the power to grant stay orders based on public interest has never been raised since its formation in 1989.

“I am surprised that the respondent as a public authority could take up such an issue and present such points without putting enough work in it,” he said.

Yeo criticised MPPP’s arguments, saying the council did not appear to have made any effort to understand the case before submitting an appeal against the stay order.

“It is worrying that the respondent doesn’t seem to understand what transpired in this case,” he said.

He said the council’s pursuit of the case does not sit well with its role as a public authority especially when it has a duty to safeguard public interest.

Yeo later extended the stay order against the planning permission until the next decision date to be fixed later.

The planning applicant, Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd, is only allowed to do piling works and works necessary for piling for the project.

It had initially obtained planning approval for the project in March 2015 before the board granted the appellants a stay order against the project late last year.

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Utopia

GEORGE TOWN, April 19 ― The federal government’s plan to build high-rise flats totalling 9,904 units in Balik Pulau to address the shortage of affordable housing in land-strapped Penang is unsuitable for the small town, Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhamad Farid Saad asserted today. The Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker said the project, consisting of 29 blocks of flats, is too massive for the small township and needs to be scaled back. “This project should be scrapped and replaced with a low density and low rise project because such a massive high rise project is not suitable for this small town,” he… Read more »

calvinsankaran

I can predict what will happen next – the Appeals Board will be declared as enemy Numero Uno and their tenures ended unceremoniously. I can also predict that MBPP will just ignore the verdict and go ahead.

rajraman666

Don’t worry
Penang appeal board members will be expelled soon.Their appointment letter mention their contract can be terminated without explanation.
rajraman. Or Zenith get free land without doing any job.Zenith still a winner…. make Zenith rich.
Penang had to pay billions in compensation.
One way contract to hell like UMNo also.

Jetty

Anil
Attended Bayan Baru Penang Master Transport Plan.
After 3 hours listening, my verdict is to scrap LRT, better State Government to get people support to decentralized SPAD to allow the likes of Hin or Yellow Bus to deploy more feeding n main buses and encourage Penangites to walk more ( exercise ) n don’t interdependent in private vehicles.
We worry Penang Transport Plan can hurt the pockets of people when LRT becomes unsustainable white elephants. Also no need expressways as earth to run out of fossil fuels to run cars.

Jetty

MOST penangites will not step out of comfort zone. Walking from home to LRT station will be painful to many do used to drive own cars.

Furthermore, Dr Jayabalan and Pulay Tikus YB Yap somehow hinted the Master Plan need further scrutiny by the people, otherwise future generation may end up paying for the maintenance.

Utopia

Malaysians lack mentality for public transportation. They prefer to be ‘in control’ with steering wheels – after years of conditioning by Fast & Furious Part 1 to 7. They have no patience to wait at the bus stops. Park and ride concept will never work here. Penang LRT will fail if it does not have a station at Queensbay Mall. Maybe SPAD wants to safeguard the rice bowls of the taxi operators?

lim

Honestly, am worried for the taxi drivers too, how are they going to cari makan ???

Utopia

Buying a car is one of the biggest expenses in the life of the average person. The only thing more costly is getting a house. For some, owning a car can become a disastrous financial decision, as fuel and maintenance can eat up a severe part of their income. Add payments to the bank to the problem and the occasional technical mishap, and you’ve got a massive issue on your hands. As The Sun reports, buying a car is the issue that caused a quarter of all bankruptcy cases in Malaysia between 2011 and 2015. We are talking about one… Read more »

zoro

Every major city has to invest in infrastructure for the future. Why melb can implement tram? They have wide road reserve for future purposes. Even in spore when drive from woodlands, they have wide north south expressiveway. Australian train stations are spaced about 15 min walking distance from their suburbs if the space underneath the elevated train can put to good use. They can drive and park below and take the train. LRT are good for women. They feel safer and less groping if rush for buses. When you have good mrt, people will see they can get from one… Read more »

zoro

Ha ha, they follow tunglang’s observation and statement. After completion, Tunglang saw many of the units are empty like time square. I strongly support Tunglang’ observation. Ha ha.

tunglang

Eh! So happy now ah! Gua khua lu chiah m-tioh ioh (have you taken the wrong medicine).
Ha ha ha ha.

zoro

i drink kopi or like rest of cina man. but you can which i am not able to drink sg. pinang or.

Jimmy Hwang

I think the Penang excos sitting on the Town Planning biard should take a short course in Town Planning. I am not against high rise buildings per se but it must be apprpriate development taking into consideration imoact on surroinding residents and traffic impact.

I can speak with some authority as i have more than 30 years Town Planning experience in London.

tunglang

Any tutorial for these CAT servants?

zoro

You can build and get your kangtau to teach them town planning. As sifu, clamp their mouth before clamping their cars

tunglang

This is Karma.
The people’s plights are not overlooked unlike by the so-called Champion of People’s Rights (My Foot!).
The arrogance of power that be should take a moment to ponder (deeply in the absence of money) why they are put to power in the first place.
If serving the people is so hard in the presence of money talks, then don’t serve Penangites.
Go back to Melaka.

lim

It is most stupid to say only a penang lang can rule penang or for that matter asking lim guan eng to go back to melaka. That shows the mentality of malaysians and how immature we are. That explains why we are enslaved by umno/bn for more than half a century !!! Bagaimana rakyat begitu la kerajaannya. Sad indeed.

Jetty

He means Penangites stay put on island and others elsewhere don’t come to affect the locals’ ricebowls?
Many talented Penangites actually move out to prosper elsewhere because some locals here have such mentality!!!?

tunglang

A typical way of minions to twist comments to suit their shiok sendiri.
Can’t even understand plain English, still want to comment like a Knee Jerk!

zoro

Mentality always kau beh kau bu like your lo yau kei. Tunglan nothing to discuss except mocking.

tunglang

Pray with 3 more Red joss sticks facing Komtar Tower of Venerable Niao Kong asking for lifelong ‘protection’ of its CAT job. Of course Penangites are stupid asking for a Penangite to lead the state as you have already made a vow to your Deity to follow for life – for whatever reason, personal, financial or any fancy (despite some alleged wrongs & contraries to Greener & Cleaner Pg promises). Immature people like us MUST look the other way, blindly follow & don’t think clearly in the face of Arrogance! But my advise to Too Kow Bin, pls for balance… Read more »

Jetty

PCM needs tunglang to counter tokong, call Huan CG to be a PCM trooper!

https://m.facebook.com/datukhuan/

tunglang

How much are you paid per comment?

zoro

State Gomen have to ensure there is employment in the state and many aust state ministers go overseas to encourage investments in their States. Any investors have to comply the state laws such as when building a alum smelter. If workers get retrenched, will they ask tunglang for help? They will ask the state Gomen. So state Gomen has a job. Look, why so many Malaysians are studying and working overseas similar to banglas, Nepalese etc?
Lucky those living in STP on reclaimed land? Why no one bother to oppose the project? Isa and osa under Gelakan Gomen?