Compact projects causing misery to public

Penang’s rapid development is made worse by approval of increased densities and changes to land use from residential to commercial, said Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey.

She said the special approvals had caused significant suffering to communities who were affected by such developments.

She said as the state and local governments had a role in allowing these developments, they must also have a role in formulating additional policies, guidelines, oversight, penalty and enforcement measures.

She said the moves would ensure that the safety and reasonable comfort of the surrounding community were not adversely impacted by the government’s decisions.

“It is important for both the state and local governments to be sensitive towards the impacts of development proposals, and the impact after they are approved.

“It is not true that only rich people object to development in their neighbourhoods.

“It is more likely that rich people are more able to access the resources to express their concerns.

“Therefore, effort is needed for extra safeguards to be put in place,” she said in a press statement.

Yap also urged the state government to review guidelines for density increase approvals on housing projects.

She said developments which were more than 10 storeys higher than the average height of surrounding buildings should not be approved.

“To cope with rapid development, more local government officers should be on the ground to do regular monitoring on construction projects to ensure compliance.

“Most people do not have the financial resources to employ a lawyer and knowledge to protect themselves against the risks posed by adjacent developments.

“There should be a panel of lawyers that can be provided to the public who wish to appeal against approvals of development projects,” she said. - By The Star

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