Now Gurney Drive residents pay the price of congestion

A major project near the Gurney Drive roundabout

It is the turn of the Gurney Drive residents to feel the pressure of high-density development in the absence of a gazetted Local Plan and the apparent flouting of density limits stipulated in the Penang Island Structure Plan.

At least four major projects are in the pipeline:

  • a large project near the Gurney Drive roundabout
  • a 20-storey block addition to Sunrise Tower
  • a 41-storey hotel at the site of Corner Club.
  • the Setia V Residences: a 43-storey tower and a 48-storey tower.

If you thought that the sPICE convention centre was a wonderful gift to the people of Penang that dropped from heaven, think again: now we are beginning to see the real price in terms of congestion arising from the added density granted (the developer is reportedly allowed to build 1500 extra homes in its existing projects in Penang) in exchange for building the convention centre.

Yes, another swap deal that is creating problems. (Now you know why swap deals are a bad idea.)

And that’s not counting the congestion that will come when Gurney Drive is widened and if the tunnel materialises.

This is an excerpt from a Malaysiakini report:

A group of residents in Gurney Drive have also protested against a 20-storey development planned in their area.

The group lamented on congestion in the area, which is already loaded with several high-rise buildings, including the Sunrise Tower, a commercial and residential block, a popular hawker centre and Gurney Plaza.yet

Access for residents is narrow service road

They complained that their residential area can only be accessed from a narrow service road.

(DAP Pulau Tikus assemblyperson Yap Soo Huey) said the 20-storey block addition to the Sunrise Tower is only one of a series of highrise developments coming up in the Gurney Drive area.

“Residents at the other end of Gurney Drive, near longtime establishment Corner Club, have also received notice about an impending development involving the relocation of the club for the development of a 41-storey hotel at the site.

“In the middle of Gurney Drive, SP Setia Bhd subsidiary Eco-Meridian has received permission to build Setia V Residences, comprising two blocks of 43 and 48 floors, which will be over and above the density limit,” she added.

“Eco-Meridian was granted the right to build above the density limit as part of the agreement between Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (the former MBPP) and SP Setia Bhd,” she said.

Yap said SP Setia was granted the right to build 1,500 residential units above the existing density limit over a 30-year period in exchange for constructing the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition (sPICE) Centre in Bayan Baru.

As for the Setia V Residences plot, the company would have been allowed to build only 50 units, but with the increase, it will build an additional 170 units, thereby making the total four times more than the original 50 units

“These developments are coming in even though there are serious problems existing in Gurney Drive that have yet to be resolved.

“Many restaurants and hawker centres along Gurney Drive are actually operating from residential plots,” Yap noted.

“Even though there have been commercial activities along Gurney Drive for many years, the council still has not taken any initiative to make the area suitable for commercial activities.

“Many old problems in the area continue to exist, including severe traffic congestion,
lack of parking along the whole stretch of Gurney Drive and flooding problems,” she added.

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Penangites grow restless with building frenzy
The whole island had been declared a city but the council is yet to implement its latest local plan, which speaks volumes on the standard of state governance.

Mrs Kee

Lucky my husband got foresight sold off our Palau Tikus home. We now settled well in mainland no worry over traffic jam and human congestion.


Is Kee your hubby? Long time no hear from Kee.
Hope he is doing fine in SP.

jinny contero

Good advice to those who have been disillusioned with life on the island.


People are disillusioned b’cos of empty promises of 308. Paham kah?
Bluffing is a sin, not a perfectly acceptable behaviour of politicians.


In the 60s and even up to the early 90s Pulau Tikus, Gurney Drive and up to Tg Tokong and Tg Bungah, it was one of the best place (serene, quiet and refrshing) to live or to go for a drive, picnic and even to wind up for some relaxation. Now its like hell ????.


Kelawei residents are also angry. Where is Niao Kong?
Read: 20-storey project in Jalan Kelawei raises residents’ ire

gk ong

Setia’s 40th birthday bringing V Residences to Gurney Drive, and traffic congestion of distinction as well.

YK Leong

One of the planners who did the first Penang Structure plan in the 1980s had characterized the development of the north coast of the island in the last few years as “development without planning” Looks like trend is now beyond the Tanjung Bungah- Batu Ferringhi stretch that he was referring to in 2007 and 2008. Overdevelopment without the supporting road and transport infrastructure is all over the island and mainland. The island local plan was passed by the MPPP in 2008 but never gazetted. The reasons are obvious now.

gk ong

To ease congestion on the road, electronic road pricing will soon have to be implemented to encourage more to stop driving and take RapidPenang buses.


Time to change the negative bin-chui mentality of riding RapidPenang?
Before that can happen RapidPenang has to UBAH to be on-time public transportation.
But Penang richie to take a bus, I doubt.


Those not so richie young ones are the ones fancy driving on the road as they are brought up by Top Gear and Fast and Furious franchises to showcase their bin chui to lure their dates, knowing their their limited cash (or paper assets) could not qualify even for the downpayment of a property in Penang. How do you expect them to experience the F1 thrills on RapidPenang? MyVi may not be fast but can be furious as evident in the recent death race.

gk ong

Downpayment as low as RM500 to own a car to begin a F&F lifestyle, at least before the car is repossessed by the bank, enough time to showcase bin chui on the road.

CEO Maestro

More rich people buying and staying at Gurney, more taxes gained to sustain the livelihoods of poor islanders in terms of shelter, food, education and recreational amenities?


Perpetuation of economic divide between rich & poor?
No different from the rich land lords & their slaves of the past.

“Orang Kaya Di Dahulukan, Orang Miskin Di Ketepikan.”
Begitu lah kebenaran di Pulo Pinang Kosmo ciptaan CAT.


Aiyoh yoh


At the rate it is going Penang will turn into a hot pressure cooker !
Is Penang DAP going nut ? Vote DAP out of PENANG !!!


Yes, one thumb up for you

jinny contero

You should learn to adapt and look at the beautiful things in life around you. Life is full of tension when our purchasing power is reduced by GST and devalued Ringgit. Penang is still better than other states in many aspects, learn to appreciate it and do not get easily disturbed by politics.


Then what is the point of voting? Shiok sendiri just to oppose like an opposition???
Get real.