Penang may lead in a number of areas, but when it comes to the implementation of Local Plans to regulate development, the state is a laggard.
The funny thing is the Penang Island Local Plan was approved by the MPPP in 2008. But now we are told that the Special Area Plan for the George Town world heritage site has to be completed first for Unesco before the Local Plan for the Island can be implemented to avoid any conflict.
But no timeline has been made public for public viewing and feedback of the plan and eventual implementation. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency about the whole thing, when this should have been the one of the top priorities for the local government. In the meantime, the State Planning Committee has raised the maximum permissible density by almost three times to 87 units per acre when it is unlikely that the Local Plan would have allowed that. (Now this could the real area of conflict.)
Is it any wonder then that we are witnessing rising congestion and haphazard or worrying development including what seems to be the arbitrary approval of increased densities for development projects in the state.
Why-lah Penang, what’s really holding back the Local Plans?