About a year ago, news filtered through that the MPPP was revising the plot ratios for new projects and higher densities of 87 units/acre would be allowed.
See my blog entry dated 5 October 2010.
Now this is much higher density than the maximum previously allowed – almost three times more. I believe existing densities on Penang Island mostly range from 15-30 units per acre? And now we are going for 87?
The state government/MPPP must clarify the following:
- Has formal approval been given for this new maximum density of 87 units/acre? If so, who gave the approval and when? The state planning committee? Was the committee briefed by the MPPP about the implications? Was public consultation carried out and feedback obtained?
- Is the 87 units/acre higher than the maximum density allowed under the Penang Island Local Plan, which was approved in 2008? What are the permissible densities in the Local Plan?
- Why is the Local Plan being delayed (even though it was approved by the MPPP in 2008)? What is holding back a public display of the Local Plan for feedback?
- Is it true that higher densities are only allowed in the Local Plan at transit-oriented development nodes i.e. at public transport interchanges? Do we have such nodes? How can we have higher densities without the public transport infrastructure to support them?
- Who pays for road-widening and new roads? It appears that the public has to bear the cost (via land swap deals, etc) to finance the construction of news roads while private firms reap profits from higher densities.
- Has any project for 87 units/acre already been approved? How many more are in the pipeline?
- Is it true that new projects are all trying to go for the maximum 87 units/acre?
Does anyone really know what 87 units per acre looks like? Imagine the congestion on the roads. Is this the type of “international city” we want?