Local councils are under no compulsion to automatically approve applications to extend the period of approval for planning permissions that have already lapsed, a former MPPP secretary has pointed out.
By the way, have you registered for Penang Forum 5, scheduled for this Saturday afternoon? The deadline for registrations is noon tomorrow. Just email aliran (at) streamyx (dot) com with your name, organisation (if applicable), and contact details. More details can be found on the Penang Forum website.
These and other issues are expected to be raised at the Forum.
This report from The Star.
MPPP has wide powers, says Lakhbir
By CHRISTINA CHIN
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) has wide powers to approve, reject, revoke or modify planning permission and building plan applications, said former senior local government employee Datuk Lakhbir Singh Chahl.
He said the Town and Country Planning Act and Street, Drainage and Building Act empowered the council to define uses of land and buildings while also compelling compliance by developers.
“The laws clearly state that the council shall take into consideration matters that in its opinion are ‘expedient or necessary for proper planning’.
“If the proposed development is located in an area where no local plan exists, the owners of the neighbouring lands have a right to object to the application and to state their grounds of objection.
“The local planning authority can even request that the applicant submit a development proposal report with details such as the concept, justification and analysis of social implications,” he said.
Lakhbir started his career as Penang’s Rural District Council secretary in 1968. His last post was as MPPP secretary. He was also director of the first Penang Island Structure Plan Committee.
On June 15, MPPP president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail said there had been no new approval for hillslope development projects on the island since Pakatan Rakyat came into power in 2008.
She said 19 “special projects” were approved after 2008 but the planning permission for these projects were granted in 1996 under the Penang Structure Plan 2007.
She said the developer could renew it annually up to five times.
Lakhbir, who is a lawyer, said an approved planning permission was valid for a year and the council was under “no obligation” to renew the application for an extension of the planning permission if within that time, the development had not commenced in the manner specified.
“The local planning authority is under no compulsion to automatically approve any application for extension or renewal of a plan approved,” he said.
Penang municipal councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui said there should never be any automatic renewal of planning permission that had lapsed.
“The council must review the entire project every time a renewal of the planning permission is applied for,” he said.
Former MPPP councillor Lim Kah Cheng said she would address public grievances in relation to hillslope and high-density development at a dialogue with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Saturday.
The dialogue will be held at the Caring Society Complex from 2pm to 5pm….