The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) is set to take action against the preemptive demolition of a building at 20 Pykett Avenue, the site of a large property development project. But will such action be enough of a deterrence in the future?
The building, though not gazetted as a heritage structure, was demolished without prior planning permission, prompting the Council to take legal action under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976. The MPPP is in the process of seeking a judgement and penalties including applying for a mandatory order to take appropriate future action.
Several questions arise: would the developer’s plan for the land still proceed? Would such legal action be sufficient to deter other developers from resorting to similar preemptive demolition strikes? Or would developers factor in the costs of the legal penalties and resulting delays in their own planning?