PRESS CONFERENCE by Several Civil Society Organisations on Wednesday, 4 January 2023, to highlight PENANG LOCAL PLAN 2030
The following are the statements issued during the conference.
JOINT Press Statement
BANTAHAN TO ZONING IN DRTPP 2030 FOR PART OF LOTS 403 AND 728 AND 78, SECTION 2, DTL, PENANG TURF CLUB LAND AS PRIME COMMERCIAL OR PERNIAGAAN UTAMA AND MIXED DEVELOPMENT OR PEMBANGUNAN BERCAMPUR
People of Penang Island.. The Draft Local Plan 2030 is being exhibited. You might wake up one morning to this next to your home. Once the Local Plan is gazetted you will not have any prior knowledge of what is being submitted for approval or any opportunity to protest. Traditional neighbourhoods will be gone, historic buildings will be demolished, traffic will be even more of a nightmare.
Go and check out what has been proposed for your neighbourhood.
Question your Aduns. Make your objections known.
The Penang State Government had promised the people of Penang in 2008 that they would not approve the massive PGCC project (36 tower blocks) on the Penang Turf Club land overwhelmingly objected to by the people of Penang with all its attendant traffic, environmental and social impacts. The present imposition of 100% Perniagaan Utama and Pembangunan Bercampur is a shocking high intensity development paradigm which goes back on their promise. It will result in unsustainable development with irreversible negative environmental, social, traffic and visual impacts.
Historically, the land was given by the State Government at generous prices to be used as a green recreational space. Green zoning was changed to mixed development land zoning for PGCC resulting in a possible built up of almost 2 million sq. ft. The current DRTPP is proposing to change the zoning to Prime Commercial and Mixed Development (175.4 acres equivalent to the footprints of 7 KOMTARS) resulting in a possible gross built up area of 42.3 million sq. ft. The original intent has been greatly abused.
No statistical justification or a Statement of Need for the proposed land-use is provided. The Planning Authority must recognize that there are limits to growth. Much of the need vs population growth projections have been statistically achieved, as evidenced by the overhang of residential and commercial properties on Penang Island. This kind of over-development is unprecedented. It will result in irreversible negative impacts with major ramifications for the whole of Penang Island which will disrupt the dynamics of the planning, economic, social and environmental objectives of the State.
The site is served by a single secondary neighbourhood road (Jalan Batu Gantong) which leads to Jalan Scotland, a major thoroughfare that is already jammed at all hours. There are no comprehensive transport plans (or even a single bus route) to serve the site as compared to Ayer Itam, Pulau Tikus or Jelutong.
Penang Island is highly dependent on the mainland for its water supply. This kind of high-density zoning defies all logic of sustainable development. George Town and its suburbs have grown in population, yet its open, recreational spaces have not increased. Polo Grounds, Youth Park, the Botanic Gardens and the Esplanade are all overly strained. The Penang Turf Club is a crucial vast green lung and sponge. An open green People’s Park on even a portion of the land would provide organic, open parks, abundant greenery, walking trails, jogging and bicycling tracks. Low density housing could co-exist.
Members of the Penang Turf Club have enjoyed facilities for almost 100 years. Surely it is timely and not unfair to give back to the people of Penang.
Click here for Penang Heritage Trust press statement: https://consumer.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/04-Jan-2022-Heritage-and-Urban-Identity-pillar-A-PHT-Review.pdf
Click here for PeTUA press statement: https://consumer.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/4-Jan-2023-PETUA-Press-Statement.pdf
Click here for PSM Pulau Pinang press statement: https://consumer.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/4-Jan-2023-Ulasan-mengenai-isu-perumahan-dalam-DRTPP-2030.pdf