Revise guidelines on development, council urged

The Penang Municipal Council should revise its guidelines on hillslope development and land usage, said Tanjung Bungah residents association member Datuk Dr Leong Yueh Kwong.

This was in view of the many landslides on the island lately, he said.

“Until the guidelines are revised, there should be a temporary halt on all hillslope projects,” said Dr Leong, the former director of the Socio-Economic & Environmental Research Institut, now known as Penang Institute.

He said the guidelines on land use should also be reviewed.

“There are many development projects in the north-east district covering areas like Paya Terubong, Air Itam, and Tanjung Bungah, which cause daily traffic congestion.

“Very soon, we will reach a point where it will not be possible to travel to Batu Ferringhi because it will take too long to get there.”

Dr Leong said it was not true that Penang did not have sufficient land.

“It's just that some of the land is not in the location that they want. It is in Balik Pulau and Seberang Prai.”

Pantai Jerejak Barisan Nasional coordinator and Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Wong Mun Hoe said the type of development supported by the state was worrying.

“It reflects a lack of planning. There's an uneven spread of construction projects on the island.”

Meanwhile, the developer of a hillslope project in Bukit Gambier, near the Universiti Sains Malaysia campus, has defended the project.

Nadayu Properties Bhd executive chairman Hamidon Abdullah said that even though the company owned 3.57ha of land, it was using only about 1.3ha.

“We identified the 76.2m line on the slope and no development will take place beyond the stipulated height. Some 1.87ha of land will be a green park.

“The project (Nadayu 290) is our first development project in Penang. We know the safety of the hillslope project,” he said. - By The Star

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