This is a Consumers’ Association of Penang’s Media Statement supported by Sahabat Alam Malaysia
CAP urges MBPP to seriously consider objection of residents protesting high density development on Lot 586 & 675 Sungai Ara
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) to seriously consider the objections raised by residents of Taman Siara 81 and neighbouring landowners on a proposed high density development on Lots 586 and 675 in Sungai Ara.
The developer, Potential Dual Sdn. Bhd. has proposed to build a block of 34-storey apartment comprising of two towers of 25-storey affordable homes and one block of 25-storey low medium cost homes. The development consists of a 7-storey vehicle parking lot, 2-storey shop lot and other amenities. The total number of housing units proposed is 750.
The residents have raised their objection on the proposed development here based on the carrying capacity of the area, use of road in the housing estate, under capacity of existing drainage system, threat to flora and fauna in the orchards and hill here, possible closure of access to a hill road popularly used for mountain biking and walking.
The high density policy introduced by the Penang State government in 2012 whereby the density of residential projects was increased from 30 units per acre to 87 units per acre is the crux of the problem as it worsens congestion and does not seriously consider capacity of a said area in the island.
Just recently the media reported that the city council was formulating a policy to hike up the density further to 122 units per acre following a directive from the State Planning Committee.Are these higher density projects to fulfil demand of affordable housing or developers?
Approval for developers to build high density high rise without due consideration given to the natural environment and carrying capacity will have adverse impacts on livability or quality of life of not only the occupants but also others in the surrounding areas, as apparent in this case.
The changes and pace of development in Penang that we are witnessing now is beyond comprehension and we are very concerned of the approaching catastrophe. Is the idea of the government to destroy or save Penang for posterity?
It is prudent for the State to ponder about the direction that we are heading for and about the effects these changes will have on our environment and on ourselves, the people of Penang.
People of Penang, Save Penang. It is in your hands now.
S.M. Mohamed Idris