Why has the process of enforcing the Penang Island Local Plan been delayed?
The draft Local Plan was passed by the MPPP in November 2008.
I glanced through the Town and Country Planning Act, and from my reading, this is what I gather should be the proper sequence in enforcing the Plan:
- Council prepares a draft Local Plan. (Passed by MPPP in November 2008)
- Plan is put up for public inspection.
- Period for objections.
- Council holds a public hearing for a committee to consider public objections. (The committee to hear the objections is appointed by the State Planning Committee.)
- Council may modify the Plan to incorporate the objections.
- The SPC can then approve the modified/unmodified Plan or reject the Plan altogether.
- If the SPC approves, the Plan will then be forwarded to the “State Authority” (the Governor and, in practice, the Executive arm – the CM and his exco) for assent.
- The Plan comes into effect once assent is given.
Has this sequence laid out in the Act been followed?
As the MPPP had already passed the draft Local Plan in 2008, shouldn’t the next step be putting the Plan up for display so that the public can inspect and raise objections? Why is this not being done?
Apparently, the reason for the delay is that they want to do the Special Area Plan for the World Heritage Zone first to make sure it does not conflict with the Local Plan.
But I believe both the SAP and the Local Plan were prepared by the same consultant; so there is unlikely to be much conflict. The draft Local Plan has been delayed long enough.
This is a more detailed sequence (as provided in the Town and Country Planning Act):
MPPP will formulate its proposal in a draft local plan which must conform generally with the structure plan & shall take into a/c the direction of SPC.
Before giving any direction, SPC SHALL first consult MPPP about its proposed direction
BEFORE commencing the preparation of the local plan, MPPP SHALL take steps to secure (a) that publicity is given to the draft that will be prepared, its objectives and purpose & matters it proposes to include in the draft local plan and (b) that persons who may want to make representations must be made aware that they are entitled to do so and be given the opportunity to do so.
MPPP shall publish in three issues of at least two local newspapers a notice stating the dates and places and time, copies of the draft local plan will be made available to the public and giving at least four weeks (from the date the draft is made available for inspection) for public to object.
MPPP shall make copies of draft local plan available for inspection and inform the public of the time within which objections may be made.
The time for objections MAY be extended once by MPPP by not more than four weeks on the application of any person.
MPPP will hold a hearing by a Committee of three persons appointed by SPC- for the purpose of considering objections & representations.
After considering objections & representations, MPPP shall submit the original draft or modified draft (to include objections) to the SPC for approval.
SPC may either approve draft (with or without modifications) or reject it.
SPC may take into a/c any matters that it thinks are relevant – whether or not the were taken into a/c in the plan as submitted to it.
SPC shall submit the approved draft local plan to the State Authority for assent & upon assent it shall come into effect.
MPPP shall publish the local plan in the state gazette and in two local newspapers.
The local plan shall conform to the structure plan but if there exists a difference due to the structure plan being out of date, SPC shall refer the difference to State Authority for its decision.
If State Authority agrees that structure plan is out of date, it shall declare that the local plan prevails over the structure plan.
The question is, did MPPP comply with s.12A? For sure, the draft local plan cannot be sulit at any stage.