Wednesday August 1, 2012
Rescind consent for Sg Ara hillside project, state told
GEORGE TOWN: The state government should revoke and withdraw the planning permission given to the developer of a hillside project in Sungai Ara as the area is still pristine.
Penang Gerakan local government bureau head Teh Leong Meng said as the custodian of the laws here, the state has the power to revoke the approval given to the developer since no clearing activities have started at the hillside.
“Claims that the state might have to fork out compensation to the developer or face a suit is just an excuse to mislead the people.”
He said the Penang Structure Plan (PSP) 2005-2009 was gazetted in June 2007 and he was made to understand that the developer had bought the 32.7ha land in 2009.
“When the developer bought the land, the company should have been aware of the clause in the PSP which explicitly forbids and disallows any residential, commercial or industrial development on hill land above 76m or where the slope exceeds 25 degrees.
“So, what compensation is the state talking about?” he asked.
Teh also said the council claimed that the project in Sungai Ara was approved under the PSP’s ‘special projects’.
“If approved as a special project, which is an escape clause, then it would have had the approval of the State Planning Committee of which the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is the chairman.
“So, how come in a report in The Star on June 7, the Chief Minister said that the state had not approved any development above 76m while council head Patahiyah Ismail said the council had approved 19 special projects between April 2008 and May this year?”