The relaxed charm of Batu Ferringhi – at least, what’s remaining of it – could be a thing of the past when half a dozen towers, four of them exceeding 30 storeys, sprout in the heart of the tourist belt.
The 33-acre site lies on the inland side of the mainroad between Lone Pine Hotel and Holiday Inn Resort, close to Uplands International School.
The plan comprises the following:
- Phase A – 38-storey tower with 480 low-cost flats
- Phase B – 48-storey tower with 293 mid-range apartments
– 49 storey of high end condominium comprising 84 units
- Phase C – 57 three-story houses
- Phase D – 24-storey tower with three floors of retail outlets and 246 service apartments
- Phase E1 – 33-storey tower mixed development with two blocks containing 167 service apartments
- Phase E2 – 7-storey commercial plaza
- Phase E3 – 20-storey hotel with 368 rooms
The entire project would take 12-15 years to complete.
Neighbouring residents were served with an MPPP notice dated 18 August, informing them about the project and requesting them to submit objections within 21 days.
One resident expressed several concerns:
- the EIA needs to be made available to the residents
- similarly for the Traffic Impact Assessment
- the green space requirement under the project should be made public
- can the supporting infrastructure in the area cope with the additional sewage and will other effluents be treated before being discharged into the sea?
There is also concern that the Phase A and B components are too close to an adjacent residential area, separated only by a 20-feet service road.
The developer of the project is little known Orientside Development Sdn Bhd. It will reportedly build a stretch of road within the site that would be part of the state’s proposed North Coastal Road. The developer is reportedly providing 350 flats of 700 sq feet each “at no cost” to the settlers in the area. Another 140 low-cost flats would be handed over to the state government. Some of the affected settlers in the area have already moved out to temporary accommodation and are having their rentals subsidised.
By the way, how are the nearby commercial complexes in Batu Ferringhi faring? Fully occupied? Or only half occupied?
What is sorely needed is a special area plan or master plan for Batu Ferringhi, bearing in mind that the Penang Island Local Plan has still not been gazetted despite the MPPP approving it in 2008.