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Uneasy about high-rise project

October 24th, 2011 Leave a comment

A GROUP of residents from the Pykett Avenue, Khaw Sim Bee Road and Westlands Road area in Penang are raising queries and concerns about a high-rise property development in the vicinity.

The group said they were facing existing traffic problems and floods caused by heavy rains, and were worried about the environmental and social impact that the development would have on them.

Resident S.K. Ang of Lorong Pykett said a social impact assessment study had to be carried out along with a dilapidation survey on surrounding houses, to ensure no dispute during and after construction.

“As of now, we already have a spillover of cars in the area from existing residences. And floods will happen when it rains heavily,” she said when met at her house along with 10 other residents on Saturday.

Ang added that residents from the surrounding neighbourhood were also wondering what had happened to the Penang Municipal Council’s (MPPP) order that the developer rebuild a colonial era double-storey bungalow that it tore down without permission in July last year.

In January, the developer was fined RM6,000 by a magistrate’s court for illegally tearing down the bungalow, and MPPP subsequently issued the order for it to be rebuilt. To date, no work has been carried out yet.

It was reported that the developer planned to build four towers for a 315-unit apartment, with a five-storey podium for car park and public amenities on the 1.37ha plot.

“We’re not against development but why can?t it go hand-in-hand with preservation? Just because it’s easier to have development without preservation, doesn’t mean it can’t be done,” Ang said.

Another concern, she said, was the density of the units of the project.

“For an established housing area, the density is normally between 15 and 30 units per acre but the total of units planned for the project has exceeded that,” she claimed.

Another resident S.T. Cheah said that MPPP should ensure the environment was maintained and not disturbed by construction in terms of working hours, noise, dust and dirt.

In an immediate response, state Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the order to rebuild the bungalow still stands.

He added that discussions were ongoing between the developer and the council.

He also said he was arranging for a meeting with the residents soon to hear and provide feedback for their grouses.

“The council has already implemented the new ruling, where certain areas could have higher density per acre, for more than a year now,”? he said.

SOURCE: The Star

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