Gurney Paragon project may be reviewed

The state government will review the billion-ringgit Gurney Paragon project if there are “justifiable grounds”.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government would get views from all quarters and welcomes any objection.

“We will revisit the projects approved by the previous administration and if necessary, review them if these projects are adversely affecting people’s lives.

“The concerns expressed to us by NGOs have been taken into account and we want certain procedures to be complied with, as should be the way the government works,” he said after a dialogue session with members of the Free Trade Zone Penang Companies’ Association yesterday.

Lim was responding to calls by the Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) and Bar Council Legal Aid Centre to review and hold an open hearing on the project.

PHT chairman Dr Choong Sim Poey had told a press conference the state government should reassess the planning permission procedures practised by the previous Penang Municipal Council.

Gurney Paragon is a mixed integrated development by Hunza Properties (Penang) Sdn Bhd comprising a shopping mall, two blocks of high-end condominiums and a heritage building spread over 4ha of freehold land.

Located along Gurney Drive fronting the sea, the land was formerly occupied by the Uplands International School. The company bought it in 2004 for RM97mil.

Gurney Paragon has a total gross development value of close to RM1bil.

Piling work for the development has begun and the project is scheduled to be completed by 2010.

Lim said the state welcomed any view or suggestion on projects that had been approved by the previous state government. - By The Star

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