Outrage over plans for 38-storey serviced apartment next to heritage site in Penang

Property News/ 27 February 2023 Leave a comment


Heritage advocates are concerned over plans to build a 38-storey condominium at Gat Lebuh Nordin here, less than 200m away from the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site western boundary.

Planning permissions were submitted to the Penang Island City Council last week for approval.

It is learnt that the proposed project is in direct sight of the Lebuh Acheh Mosque minaret, which is supposed to be gazetted as a heritage vista.

George Town Heritage Action (GTHA) co-founder Mark Lay first broke the news on GTHA’s Facebook page.

“There is an application for planning permission sitting at Penang Island City Council, seeking approval to built this 38-storey luxury condo just 150m from the western boundary of the George Town World Heritage Site.”

Penang Heritage Trust vice-president Khoo Salma Nasution, who shared the posting, said: “Another monstrosity spoiling the vista from the World Heritage Site. A slice of delicious cake for metal-chomping aliens or a giant chopper about to hack up Komtar (Tun Abdul Razak Complex).”

She added that the George Town Special Area Plan gave examples of what should not be allowed and that the vista of the Lebuh Acheh Mosque should not be spoilt or compromised by allowing a tall development even beyond the World Heritage Site.

Others expressed worry that the latest development might cause Unesco to remove George Town from the former’s list of World Heritage Sites.

They said it was the job of the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) Board to reject any development proposal that threatened George Town’s outstanding universal value (OUV).

Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi Zi Sen, the assemblyman of the area where the proposed project is expected to sit, told the New Straits Times that he had yet to see the detailed application for the project

“The project sits outside of core and buffer zones of the World Heritage Site. I need to get more details of the application before I can comment on the matter, whether it will impact the world heritage site.

“There are existing rules and regulations for (development) planning. If all conditions and regulations are adhered to, I think the Penang Island City Council should consider the project,” he said.

Gooi, who sits on the board of the GTWHI, said it was too early to confirm that the proposed project would be in direct sight of the minaret.

He acknowledged that according to the Special Area Plan, the vista of the minaret must be preserved.

Meanwhile, GTWHI, as the site manager for the George Town Heritage City Unesco World Heritage Site, confirmed the proposed project would be located outside the property and buffer territory of the George Town Heritage City Unesco World Heritage Site.

According to GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee, it had conducted site visits since last week to study the project.

“We will comment further after we received the project detailed plan and development design from the Penang Island City Council.

Read more: NST Online

  1. LL
    February 27th, 2023 at 21:37 | #1

    Yet another development by Exism. Should build more affordable house than this non beneficial development.

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