Sungai Ara residents win final appeal to stop hillslope project

Property News/ 23 January 2023 Leave a comment

Artist impression (2012)

A group of residents in Sungai Ara have won their final appeal to challenge the Penang island city council’s (MBPP) decision to grant planning permission to a developer to build a housing scheme on a hillslope.

Federal Court judge Nallini Pathmanathan said the local authority’s approval of Sunway City (Penang) Sdn Bhd’s application for planning permission was ultra vires the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 and, therefore, void.

“The High Court and Court of Appeal erred in law in upholding the decision of the local authority to grant planning approval,” she said when delivering the broad grounds of another landmark judgment by the apex court last week.

Chief Judge of Malaya Zabidin Diah and Justice Rhodzariah Bujang were the other members who heard the appeal last year.

The bench also ordered Sunway City and the council to pay RM300,000 in costs to the residents.

Gurdial Singh Nijar, Jessica Binwani and Abraham Au represented the residents, while counsel Cyrus Das and Christina Siew appeared for Sunway City. Karin Lim and M Murugan represented MBPP.

On Nov 30, 2021, the residents were granted leave to appeal after the Federal Court approved 12 questions of law for its determination.

The crux of the appeal was whether the Penang Structure Plan 2020 regulates development on hillslopes 76.2m above sea level with a gradient that exceeds 25 degrees.

On May 7, 2021, the residents had failed in their legal battle when the Court of Appeal affirmed the findings of the High Court.

The High Court had on May 29, 2017 allowed a judicial review filed by Sunway City and quashed a decision of the Penang Appeal Board made in January 2016.

The appeal board had set aside the planning permission given by MBPP to Sunway City to develop land in Sungai Ara into a gated and guarded housing scheme.

The land, measuring 32.7ha, stood at an elevation of more than 76m above sea level with a gradient exceeding 25 degrees.

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday.com

  1. Ken Fong
    January 30th, 2023 at 22:06 | #1

    BIG Congratulations to ALL Sungai Ara residents !!!

  2. T.C
    February 2nd, 2023 at 10:45 | #2

    Wonderful news!!!

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