Penang tells developer to scale down density and fulfil affordable housing quota

The developer of the RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) has been directed to reduce the project’s density and fulfil the required 30% affordable housing quota.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the developer was told not to include the nearby hill when taking into account the project's density calculation.

He said the piece of land next to Jesselton Heights must be low-density and only for bungalows to meet some of the concerns raised by Penangites, including those living there, especially on traffic dispersal.

Dr Koh also noted that the developer’s initial plan did not have an adequate number of low-cost and low-medium cost housing units.

“We have taken into account the people’s views and concerns about the PGCC. As the state Planning Committee chairman, I have directed the Penang Municipal Council to ask the developer to revise the plan.

“We are not being anti-development. We want to make sure that the development must not bring about a negative impact,” he told reporters after opening the state-level Integrity Month programme here yesterday.

The PGCC, a project under the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), will be developed on a 105.2ha site where the Penang Turf Club is located.

Last September, Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd director and Equine Capital Bhd executive chairman Datuk Patrick Lim said the company had proposed building 30 residential blocks, two iconic towers, five office buildings and 100 bungalows in the PGCC.

Dr Koh said the proposed revision would, however, not affect the PGCC's status as a high-impact project under the NCER.

He said that apart from 2,000 postcards, the state government received about 500 letters and e-mails objecting to the project.

Asked how the project’s preliminary environment impact assessment (EIA) report was approved, Dr Koh said the EIA was more related to the project’s overall development.

“The density aspect is a concern that is more related to the project’s traffic and social impact,” he said.

In an immediate response, Lim said their consultants would be instructed to review the project’s development plans to ensure they complied with the Penang Municipal Council’s views.

”As a conscientious and responsible developer, it is incumbent on our part to ensure the development will not create any permanent negative issues,” he said. - By The Star

1 comment

February 19, 2008 at 2:53 PMGoppal

Sounds better but worried about the project's fate..i really hope it won't be the by not all but some people are actually being unprofessional by being anti-developmental by saying "stop the PGCC" because these people think that a project has to be canceled in order to avoid negative impacts in the future..thats why i always call them anti-developmental..of course not only me but many others who support the PGCC think alike.......this way of thinking is undoubtfully wrong and irrelevent..but at least professionals say 'let's fine-tune the project and bring the project closer to reality'....some people tell absurd things like'we penangite do not need PGCC'....some say 'PGCC is too big for the island and the population'....people should start thinking in a more matured way...malaysian development is still considered let's work together for it...