Despite numerous concerns raised by Penang-based civil society groups in Penang Forum and others, the local planning authority in Penang has granted planning permission for land reclamation work under Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjung Pinang project.
According to E & O Berhad, the approval was granted by the Rural and Urban Planning Department (Jabatan Perancang Bandar dan Desa), Penang in a letter dated 25 November 2014 to the developer Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd, which is owned by E & O (with the Penang state government having a minority stake).
The approval is subject to the developer surrendering 191 acres of reclaimed land to the Penang State government. Out of this, 110 acres will be the net area available for development made up of 60 acres on the large man-made island off Straits Quay and 50 acres at Gurney Drive.
The developer is now allowed to carry out land reclamation work at the site.
This is a great pity as the impact of the land reclamation – raised by NGOs in the Penang Forum and the Penang Inland Fisherfolks Welfare Association (Pifwa) – has not been satisfactority dealt with. None of the authorities responded to the Penang Forum’s litany of concerns over the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment.
We now have to bear the consequences of the impact of this land reclamation while the considerable cost of any required dredging is set to be passed on to the public in the future.