Something is happening at the Subang Ria Recreational Park and it doesn’t sound good. Although the state government had agreed that all 73 acres will be maintained as a green lung, it appears that 19 acres could now be allowed for commercial use.
Why can’t they learn from the 350-acre Hyde Park and the 275-acre Kensington Garden (both combined, larger than the size of Monaco and lying right smack in the middle of London), which are virtually untouchable? But then some of our developers are greedy and think nothing of depriving present and future generations of precious green spaces. All they can think of is $$$
During a meeting on 4 May 2010, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) reportedly rejected Sime Darby Property’s application to use part of the Subang Ria park land for residential and commercial development.
It was rejected because it contradicted the Subang Jaya Draft Local Plan. Under the plan, the state exco had approved the park area for recreational purpose.
All well and good. But residents who turned up for the state’s Appeals Board hearing this month were shocked to find out that 19 acres had now been approved for commercial use. How did this happen? The map in the Local Plan shows that 72 acres had been zoned as a green lung. But a supplementary table showed 19 acres could be used for commercial activities.
Lawyer Derek Fernandez points out conflicting documents. An excerpt from a Star report:
Another letter from the MPSJ to the park owner Sime Darby Property, dated May 28, 2009, said a State Planning Committee meeting on April 21 had in principle decided that 7.7ha of the park is allowed for development, with the condition that the rest of the park is upgraded and handed back to MPSJ.
Meanwhile, another council document on the draft local plan dated June 22, 2009, detailed a decision to keep the park as recreational site, with a suggestion to gazette it permanently as green lung for public use.
Subang Jaya Residents Association (SJRA) chairman AS Gill was reported as saying that the Selangor Town and Country Planning Department director had told residents at the Selangor Draft Structure Plan 2020 dialogue in 2005 that a ‘mistake’ (yeah, right, a mistake) had been made when a separate title for Subang Ria Park was issued to the developer. “If the previous administration had wrongly given the land to Sime Darby, then it’s within the power of the current state government to correct the situation instead of giving the residents a run around,” he said.
The residents claim they have a written response from MPSJ and the State Planning Department to their objection at a public hearing of the draft Local Plan held on 22 June 2009 which states that all 73 acres are zoned as a green lung.
Meanwhile, the case at the Appeals Board has been postponed to 28 December 2010 to hear if SJRA and the residents have a locus standi to intervene and full hearing is scheduled for 11 January 2011.