Wednesday, July 19, 2017

‘Noise will be an issue’: Penang elevated highways will pass near highrise apartments

“Noise and vibration from traffic movement” will be an issue for residents living in a string of apartment blocks, according to the environmental impact assessment for three proposed highways in Penang.
The tower blocks affected are:

Package 1
  • Taman Leader Condominium
  • Surin Condominium
  • Taman Tanjung Bungah
  • Waterfront Condominium
  • Coastal Tower
  • Desa Mar Vista Apartment
  • Beverly Hills
  • Sri Sayang Service Apartment
  • Ferringhi Delima Condominium
Package 2
  • All Season Palace Condominium
  • Boulevard Condominium
  • Greenlane Heights
  • Delima Palace and others

... Click here for full article by Anil Netto ...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Support for appeal by Sg. Ara residents against Sunway Hills project on hillslopes

FOR URGENT ATTENTION --

This was the press release issued on Sunday, 9 July 2017 at a press conference at Sunrise Condominium in Sungei Ara which received very good press coverage in the Chinese media.

See details below: 

Support for appeal by Sg. Ara residents against
Sunway Hills project on hillslopes

Several Residents’ Associations and organisations in Penang have come together in a show of support and solidarity for the Sungei Ara residents who are appealing the decision of the Penang High Court, delivered on 29 May 2017.

The High Court had ruled in favour of Sunway City and overturned the decision of the Penang Appeals Board which had decided in favour of the residents in not granting planning permission for the Sunway Hills project.

The Sunway Hills project by Sunway City in Sungei Ara, involves housing development on sensitive hill land, that is land with more than 250 feet (76 metres) above sea level and a gradient exceeding 25 degrees.

Sunway proposes to construct 600 units comprising high-rise apartments and bungalows on hill lands covering 80 acres, approximately 43% of which are on slopes exceeding a gradient of 25 degrees.
On 20 Nov. 2015, the Appeals Board, upheld the objections by the residents who were owners of neighbouring lands against the approval of the project by the Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP).  

Sunway City had argued that the MBPP had granted planning permission properly because the proposed development is a ‘special project.’ The residents argued that the sensitive hill lands are unsuitable for the development proposed.

The Appeals Board ruled that the MBPP was wrong in granting the approval as it had failed to consider properly that (in this case), the primary objective of the Penang Structure Plan 2020 is to preserve hill lands; and only very limited and justifiable exceptions were allowed as ‘special projects’, which justification was lacking in the Sunway project.

Following the decision of the Appeals Board, the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, had on 26 February 2016, at a press conference, announced that the MBPP could now overturn the approvals given to similar hill slope special projects approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government. The legal adviser of MBPP, Puan Shamiah and also YB Jagdeep Singh Deo, a State Exco member and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman, were also at this press conference.

HAKAM (the National Human Rights Society) and Penang Forum, who were invited to attend the press conference, applauded the State government's support for the Appeals Board decision as it best served the public interest and sustainable development.

The Penang Structure Plan 2020 was gazetted in 2007 and states that the exception to the prohibition on hill land development is only for ‘special projects’ but it does not define what they are.

The definition and the guidelines for ‘special projects’ were approved by the present government in 2009. How the guidelines are to be interpreted is the bone of contention in the Sungei Ara residents case.

Following the clarification provided by the Appeals Board in the Sunway case, the expectation was that the State government would have revised or redefined what are ‘special projects’ in the 2009 guidelines to prohibit future private development on hill lands.

We are therefore surprised that at the hearing at the Penang High Court, the counsel for MBPP took a different stance from that publicly announced by the Chief Minister. 

The Sungei Ara residents were disappointed that the lawyers for the MBPP argued against the clarity of the definition provided by the Appeals Board as regards ‘special projects’.

We are indeed intrigued as to the change of stance by the MBPP and would like to enquire what stance the State government and MBPP will now take before the Court of Appeal when the residents seek to restore the Appeals Board decision.

We are supporting the appeal against the High Court decision, as it has serious implications not only for the immediate residents of the vicinity of the project but also for all citizens of Penang who will be affected by development projects in environmentally sensitive areas, including on hillslopes and highlands in Penang.

The decision will also have serious implications for all cases involving planning law in the country.

The High Court, in ruling in favour of Sunway City, had among other things, held the project to be a ‘special project,’ and hence an exception to the Structure Plan.
The Judge in the case had also suggested that the Structure Plan “need not be slavishly complied” with by the MBPP.
These are serious matters of public interest which must be reviewed by the Court of Appeal. The High Court decision must not serve as a precedent for other development projects on hill lands and environmentally sensitive areas.
Consequently, the Sungei Ara residents have filed a Notice of Appeal against the decision-and we stand in solidarity with them in their appeal.

The Chief Minister in the press conference last year, acknowledged that the High Court case “is expected to be the case of the century for planning law in Malaysia,” and had blamed the previous government for approving projects on sensitive hill lands.

Given the above, we call for the following actions to be taken urgently:
  1. It is vital for the Chief Minister and the MBPP to make clear their position as regards the appeal by the residents to restore the Appeals Board decision;

  1. The State government revise or redefine what are ‘special projects’ in the 2009 guidelines in order to explicitly prohibit any future development on hill lands except for essential public amenities, pending a revision of the new Structure Plan.

  1. Since the present Structure Plan is now pending revision, the State should also ensure the explicit prohibition of any future development on hill lands except for essential public amenities.

  1. The State should also stop approving any further applications for excision of the status of ‘hill lands’ from the Land Conservation Act 1960.  
These matters are of great importance to all citizens of Penang. We also call on the public to support the Sungei Ara residents in this very critical public interest case.

Today it is Sungei Ara, tomorrow it could be Paya Terubong, and the next day it might be at your backyard; hence the need to defend the front line.

Development on sensitive hill lands of more than 250 feet should not be allowed, as they pose serious environmental and social impacts for residents in the neighbouring lands such as soil erosion, landslides and landslips, unstable soils and negative impacts from blasting works etc. These are the precise concerns of the Sungei Ara residents that are also faced presently by other residents in Paya Terubong, and Jesselton Heights.

We laud their courage and spirit, in spearheading this appeal to the Court of Appeal despite the financial challenges they are facing.

Their struggle in the public interest should be supported for a better environment and a better Penang! 

For those who wish to support the efforts of the Sungei Ara residents, kindly contact Mr Manuel Nicholas (mobile h/p :012 4899321; email: manuel_nicholas@hotmail.com).

This statement is endorsed by:

Name Organisation
1 Meenakshi Raman Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA)
2 Manuel Nicholas Management Corporation Sunrise Garden Condominium, Sungei Ara
3 Medalene Sim Management Committee Solok Kelicap, Sg. Ara
4 Tan Sri Dato Gajaraj Dhanarajan Management Corporation of The Cove, Tanjung Bungah
5 Dr. Ti Lian Geh Taman Sri Rambai /Taman Lau Geok Swee Residents’ Association, Paya Terubong
6 Jeffery Ho Taman Sri Nibong Residents Association, Bayan Lepas
7 Abdul Rahim bin Sultan Management Corporation of Desaria Sri Merpati Apartments, Taman Desaria, Sg. Ara
8 Ang Sue Khoo Pykett Residents’ Committee
9 K. Suthakar Tanjung Court Residents’ Ad hoc Committee and Joint Residents Associations of Bandar Baru Air Itam Ad hoc Committee
10 Henry Loh Management Corporation of Diamond Villa, Tanjung Bungah
11 Alan Tan Management Committee of Lavinia Apartment, Bayan Lepas
12 Abdul Razak Bin Osman Management Corporation Taman Sri Putera, Taman Desaria, Sg. Ara
13 Haji Fadzil Bin Hitam Desaria Residents Association, Sg. Ara
14 Andy Saw Management Corporation Regency Heights Condominium, Taman Desaria, Sg. Ara
15 Hor Cheok Weng Management Committee of Mewar Apartments, Sungei Nibong
16 S. Subbiah Residents’ Association of Pantai Molek, Tanjung Tokong
17 Datuk Yap Ching Chau Residents’ Association of Jesselton, Penang
18 Nic Sim Management Committee of Melati Apartments, Sungei Nibong
19 Roy Lim Management Committee of Crystal Court Corporate Park 2, Sungei Nibong




   

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Cove: Why Considering Rejected 65 Storey Development Again?

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MANAGEMENT CORPORATION OF THE COVE CONDOMINIUM.


2017 May 19

THE FIGHT AGAINST THE ERECTION OF A 65 STOREY BUILDING ON THE SITE OF THE COPTHORNE HOTEL IN TANJUNG BUNGAH, PENANG

Erecting a 65 storey mixed development of a 250 unit per acre density in a residential area would be preposterous. This was rejected by the MBPP in March 2017 why are we considering an identical application on the same site 6 weeks later?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Cove MC and the residents of Tanjung Bungah had earlier complemented and congratulated the councillors of MBPP for having civic conscience, civic conviction and the personal courage to reject the Development Proposals for the re-development of the Copthorne Orchid Hotel in Tanjung Bungah, Penang by:

(i) the demolition of the existing 2o storey hotel building;

(ii) replacing the existing hotel by erecting a 65 storey building on the site comprising 217 units of condominium and a hotel with 420 rooms together with all the other ancillary structures and facilities.

By all accounts the Development Proposals will be a concrete monstrosity which should not have even been considered, and much less, be permitted in an established township and community like Tanjung Bungah.

It was subsequently learnt to the surprise and utter dismay of the Cove Management Corporation (Cove MC) that the State Planning Committee (SPC) had in fact granted its approval for the erection of the building(s) and infrastructure comprised in the Development Proposals without any form of public consultation or engagement whatsoever with the residents of Tanjung Bungah.

After obtaining the approval of the SPC, the Development Proposals were subsequently submitted to MBPP for its approval as required by law. The Cove MC and some resident of Sea-homes presented their objections to the Proposed Development at a hearing before the MBPP.

The rejection of the Development Proposals by MBPP Councillors upon the reasoned objection of the Cove MC in the face of the approval granted by the SPC, encourages the belief that there is hope that the rights, interests and welfare of the people of Penang can and will be heard above the vociferous noise of the machinery of rampant development without regard for the due process of law, the heritage, the environment and the people.

To its dismay but not its surprise, the Cove MC has recently received a new notification following the rejection of the Development Proposals, that the proprietor of the Copthorne Orchid Hotel has re-submitted a revision of the Proposed Developments for the approval of MBPP.

The revised Development Proposals is for all intents and purposes identical to that previously rejected Development Proposals which proposes the erection of a g 65 stories building which include 420 hotel rooms and 217 commercial apartment units together with all the other ancillary infrastructures and facilities.

The appetite for the monstrous development is unabated.

The fight for the Tanjung Bungah Community continues.

In the disastrous event that the new Development Proposals are approved by MBPP, the heart and soul of the Tanjung Bungah and the island of Penang will be destroyed and forever changed. The people of Penang and the residents of Tanjung Bungah in particular, call upon:

(i) the good councillors of MBPP to abide by (i) the doctrine of the supremacy of the law (ii) the principles of good governance and (iii) the need for social justice;

(ii) The SPC to re-consider if the SPC’s existing approval granted for the Development proposal should be revoked as the terms of the approval appear to contradict the CAT principles of good governance.

Yours Sincerely 
Tan Sri Dato Gajaraj A/L Munusamy Dhanarajan 
For and on behalf of 
The Cove Management Committee

PDF copy: https://goo.gl/T8XccM

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

News from the New TBRA Committee

News from the TANJONG BUNGA RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
(20 March, 2017)

New Committee Elected

Kindly be informed that at the Annual General Meeting of the TBRA held on Saturday, 25 February 2017, a new Committee has been elected as follows:

Chairperson: Meenakshi (aka Meena) Raman.
Vice-Chairperson: Agnes James
Secretary: Peter Boyd
Assistant Secretary: Annelies Allain
Treasurer: Cheong Ah Hoo, Alice 

Ordinary Committee Members: Shirin Chan, Zulfikar Abdul Aziz, Dr. Rajeswary Raman, Murlidhar, and Jerry Lang.

The new Chair, Meena is associated with several NGOs in Penang such as the Consumers Association of Penang, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia) and the Third World Network, who are all based in Penang.

New Committee meets

The new committee held its first meeting on Saturday, 11 March 2017 and discussed several issues that were raised during the AGM, which included the Taman Komuniti Tanjong Bunga, (commonly referred to as the ‘Sore Thumb’), the North-Coast Pair Road, and trees being cut down near the Guillemard Reservoir.

The Committee resolved to follow-up actively on these matters to address the concerns of Tanjung Bunga residents in this regard.  

The Committee also discussed the need to recruit more members to join the TBRA and to also reach out to other residents’ associations on Penang Island.



Dr Lim Mah Hui’s resignation speech to Penang Island City Council

Excerpt from Dr. Lim Mah Hui's December 2016 speech of resignation as MBPP councillor after serving six years:

"One of the most serious threats facing the council is over building in the city. I will not call this development. Development is not about erecting more high-rise buildings in every imaginable plot of land all over the island, with scant regard to neighbourhood, street scape, traffic congestion and liveability. Buildings with heritage value, even if not yet designated as such, are torn down illegally, as with the Khaw Sim Bee mansion, or legally as in the dismantling of a heritage value building along Macalister Road, to make way for the Tropicana project.

Last month building guidelines on height control along Scotland Road, a designated protocol road, were changed to allow a developer to double the number of floors he can build from 12 to 22 on a small plot of one-acre land. In another case, submission for approval has been made for construction of a 38-storey hotel on a small plot of land measuring 29,000 sq ft in a residential area along Jln Tanjong Tokong and Pantai Molek. There is good development and there is bad development. Such practices, in my mind, do not constitute good or sustainable development.

Let me now touch on the running of the Council. The Council exists to serve ratepayers and the public. Section 23 of the Local Government Act 1976 states that all meetings of the local authority shall be open to the public and to representatives of the press unless the local authority by resolution at the meeting otherwise decides, although this clause does not apply to any committee unless such committee decides otherwise."

For full speech, see http://anilnetto.com/democracy/civil-society/dr-lim-mah-huis-resignation-speech-penang-island-city-council/

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Chairman’s Address at TBRA AGM, February 25, 2017

      
Good afternoon fellow members and welcome to the AGM of the Tanjung Bunga Residents Association. A special welcome to our new members!

Penang and Tanjung Bunga continue to be threatened with unrestrained and unplanned development. More and more high rise high density projects have been and are being built in Tanjung Bunga and Batu Feringghi greatly increasing traffic flows through our neighbourhood to and from the city. Density in Penang, once 30 units per acre, was increased to 87 a few years ago and will be increased by the authorities to 128 units per acre, quadrupling what it used to be. A 65 storey building will replace the Copthorne hotel, dwarfing its already giant neighbours at the Cove and One Tanjung.

The recently conducted Survey of the Structure Plan raises fresh concerns. The whole concept of primary and secondary corridors is under review and likely to be dropped. Instead there is the new concept of “optimization” of the available land in Penang. There are many flaws and contradictions in this hastily put together and belated review but the fundamental message is a good one for developers and a depressing one for people concerned about their quality of life and the environment. The TBRA has sent in its comments on the review to the planning authorities.

The hills, a key heritage of Penang, are in great danger. There is more construction of high rise buildings on sensitive hill slopes, some of which are clearly illegal. Our fellow residents’ association in Sungai Ara won a landmark appeal against one such development last year but now must contend with another. Similarly, the residents in Paya Terubong have appealed a hill development project which is currently being heard by the appeals board. From the air and from the drive into Penang on the bridge, one can clearly see the horrific damage done to our beautiful hills. Here in Tanjung Bunga, we have the Alilla 2 construction precariously situated on a sensitive hillside, believed to be illegal and other worrying developments in Chee Seng Gardens.

There is the issue of the paired roads that are already under construction. It is not clear how these roads to the Northeast and South of Tanjung Bunga will connect with each other. The idea is to improve traffic flows to and from Batu Feringghi and the city but we can only see more blockages resulting from this. Worse, the Northeastern road will cut through forested areas, endangering the little there is left of Tanjung Bunga’s green areas and the flora and fauna there

The TBRA is affiliated to the Penang Forum and supports its efforts to take up all these issues with the authorities. Together with the Penang Forum, we have set up the Residents Associations of Penang, now with 12 member associations, to support one another. Residents associations are a key element in the struggle to promote and protect peoples’ concerns.

Last year we supported the efforts of a group of residents in Tanjung Bunga to push for the disconnection and dismantlement of 2 Telco towers at schools in Tan Jit Seng and Lembah Permai. This well organized group finally succeeded after many years of frustration to get the State Exco to act. It was most satisfying to be there with them when YB Chow informed them of the decision.

The TBRA committee has been anxious to prevent a marina being built in Tanjung Bunga and was very keen to revive the idea of the Sore Thumb being made into a public park. The lack of public open spaces is a major issue in Penang and Tanjung Bunga is no exception. Encouragingly, the Chief Minister had agreed in December that we can put up a project for the park and the plans for this should be ready by early next month for presentation to him. The concept is for a self-sustainable park that will promote environmental awareness, highlighting water conservation, energy conservation, recycling, fauna and flora etc and catering for children, youth, and adults. There will be a special walkaway around the Sore Thumb with stunning sea views and “pit stops” which will highlight the subjects that I mentioned. There will be a football field and even an outdoor auditorium. If realized we will have something special for Tanjung Bungah and for Penang to enjoy.

With development happening so fast, with all the accompanying issues of environmental damage, traffic congestion and public concerns being ignored, it is important that we stand together as a community and do what we can to preserve the Tanjung Bunga that we love. The TBRA is the official body through which this can be done and we need your support to be effective. Help us broaden our membership and consider joining the committee to show your commitment to saving Tanjung Bunga. We have supported other RAs when they have had their issues but here, in our own community, support has sadly been lacking.

Finally, do check out our Facebook page, our WhatsApp group “Saving Tanjung Bunga” and our blog. Your feedback using this media will be much appreciated.

Farewell
Renji Sathiah

Friday, February 10, 2017

TBRA's AGM for 2017 on Feb 25, 230pm, Saturday

TANJONG BUNGA RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Notification of Annual General Meeting
Dear Members and friends of TBRA,
Our Association will hold its 2017 Annual General Meeting on:
Date:    Saturday 25 February 2017
Venue: Meeting Room (Boardroom) Tanjong Bunga Market, 11200 Penang,
  1st floor
Time:  2:30 pm to pay annual membership fees, so you can vote !
             3:00 pm start AGM if quorum is reached
Agenda:
The business of the Annual General Meeting shall consist of:
a)    To receive the Chairman’s address;
b)    To confirm the minutes of the previous General Meeting;
c)    To receive and adopt the Annual Report by the Secretary;
d)    To receive and adopt the Audited Statement of Accounts by the Treasurer;
e)    To proceed with elections: Please let us know if you are willing to be on the Committee; that would be greatly appreciated;
f)      To consider any resolution of which written notice should be given to the Secretary at least seven (7) clear days prior to the meeting;
g)    To discuss matters of general interest;
Please do attend !

Monday, December 05, 2016

What’s to become of Penang’s Sore Thumb?

(A history and update of "Sore Thumb" of Tanjong Bungah)
Around 2005 - Some reclamation
A piece of prime seafront public land on the Tanjong Bungah coast has been progressively reclaimed since 2000.  In 2006 when the reclamation became monstrous, residents in Tanjong Bungah began describing this rocky promontory as the ‘Sore Thumb’ as it stood out like one, marring the coastline between The Cove and Penang Swimming Club. 
2006 January. Green roof is Tanjong Club.
Crane is The Cove. White roof is Penang Swimming Club.
The original plot of land measures 1.5 acres and is identified by its land title as Lot 4658.  In 1994 the state government granted a lease, over Lot 4658, of 60 years (1994 – 2055) to Purerich Realty Sdn BHd at a cost of RM1 million. This was in spite of the fact that the company did not own any adjoining land and thus did not have any legal right to apply for the lease.  
2006 January with activities
 While the State government at the time knew about the irregularity of the lease, and the subsequent land reclamation, nothing was done to rectify the lease or stop the extension of Lot 4658 by way of dumping rocks off the coast.
2006 January Close-up 1
Three commercial attempts have been made to transform the land to a marina with lay out plans increasing in grandiosity with each attempt.  Planning permission was in fact granted in 1996 to Purerich to construct a marina, but after six extensions the planning permission expired in 2007 without any engineered foundation being prepared for the reclaimed land (Sore Thumb). 
2006 January Close-up 2
The lease of the land was then transferred to Province Valley Sdn Bhd in 2009 and by the following year plans were prepared for a bigger marina with a 7.7 acre pontoon to berth 80 boats alongside a 5-story hotel and retail outlets, but again the proposal came to nothing.


2013 By Anil Netto (http://anilnetto.com)
  More 2013 images from Anil Netto at Flickr

2016 September. Sore Thumb and One Tanjong entrance
The third and most recent attempt was in April 2015 when the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) called for tenders for a massive marina that would berth 200 – 400 boats, including super yachts (24 m or longer). Total land reclamation would be allowed for a maximum of 20 acres and would be leased for 99 years. The entire “study area” would span from Tanjong Tokong to Batu Ferringhi and 5 km into the sea, possibly engulfing the iconic Pulau Tikus island; a minuscule island steeped in local legends.  Fortunately, by June this year, this massive marina plan was discontinued.  

2016 September. Sore Thumb, future Coastal Park entrance.
Nevertheless the ‘Sore Thumb’ remains.  This mound of raw earth and rocks has become overgrown with shrubs and grass.  The Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association (TBRA) has repeatedly appealed to and requested the State authorities to give this public space to the people of Tanjong Bunga. 

2016 September. Future Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park entrance
Nine years ago in 2007, the TBRA collected 1500 signatures from residents to petition for the ‘Sore Thumb’ to be converted to a public coastal park.  In 2010 the proposal was formally submitted to the State authorities, detailing the creation of three levels of recreational space; sports fields as well as paths for joggers and walkers thus creating a natural environment devoid of permanent structures to keep costs down and avoid pollution.  


2016 September. Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park entrance
This piece of reclaimed land can easily be converted to a public coastal park for all to enjoy.  The local State assembly representative, YB Teh Yee Cheu in 2012 called for the Sore Thumb to be preserved as a green lung under the Local Agenda 21 and to be gazetted as the Tanjong Bunga Coastal Park. The last thing the public want to see happen here is an exclusive, sprawling marina, restricting public access to the beach.
Ruk Uman
Penang

For more info, search this blog for "sore thumb".
Or search Anil Netto's blog: http://anilnetto.com/?s=sore+thumb

Sunday, December 04, 2016

For Review NOW!!! Penang Structure Plan 2020

State Structure Plan 2020: Starting DECEMBER, you have your brief chance to review it and make comments!!!

Link to download docs: https://we.tl/7ETHQlROfR
Link to news story:
http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/11/191291/penang-get-feedback-revised-state-structure-plan-2020-next-month
 
"The state government had drew flak from many quarters for delaying the gazetting and review of the SSP, which was overdue since 2012."

"The state government will be gathering public feedback for a revised State Structure Plan 2020 (SSP) beginning December. ... the feedback from two-months of public viewing would be used as a base for the 2030 SSP draft. ... displayed at the State Secretary’s Office, Komtar; Penang Island City Council and the Seberang Prai Municipal Council.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

One Page Summary: Objections against Copthorne re-development into 65 storeys

Objections against Copthorne re-development into 65 storeys

Imagine a KOMTAR in Tanjong Bunga !  A mixed development right on our beach !

A “travesty in the making”, says Michael Deeb, who leads the Cove residents’ opposition to the project. And indeed, there are monstrous plans now submitted to the Penang Council to destroy the current 22 storey Copthorne Hotel and replace it by a set of new buildings and car parks with a 65 storey tower close to the beach.

It would be a very high-density building with 217 apartments and 420 hotel rooms on a 2.5 acre site, translating into 254 units per acre.  That is almost double the allowed density in Kuala Lumpur (132) and way, way above the ideal maximum density in Tanjong Bunga which is 15 units per acre under the applicable rules of the Secondary Development Corridor.
By comparison, the 4 towers of the Cove only have 144 (admittedly huge) units, which translates into a density of 26 per acre, allowed under Primary Development Corridor rules, applicable to George Town.

The Cove would indeed be most affected by the towering ‘monster’ within 6 meters of its perimeter. At the MBPP hearing on 29 November, the Cove lawyers insisted on the need for preliminary studies (wind tunnel effect, traffic flow and setback rules), which were not provided or never done but necessary before the Council was to consider the project.

Another issue was zoning; currently the area is a tourist zone but it would have to be rezoned to allow for mixed development.  With all this pending it was hard to make precise objections to the proposed development.  Hence, for the Cove and Seahome residents, the hearing was considered premature. The Council will have to collect more information and then call for another hearing.

As direct neighbors, the Cove and Seahome residents are the only ones consulted by MBPP but it is clear that all of Tanjong Bunga will be affected. For at least 4 years if ever this plan is allowed to go ahead. Just imagine how many thousands of lorries will be crowding the service road and then the main road, first to cart off the debris of the old building and then to bring in the tons of concrete and what else it takes to construct Tanjong Bunga’s Komtar.

One of the plans is to build 5 storeys underground for car parks; but given that the hotel sits on a massive granite block, the digging can only be done by explosives; ergo, stop all traffic on Tanjong Bunga road ! The danger, noise, debris and dust will be unbearable for the people who live in Tingkat Laut, the now quiet Seahome street with just double storey bungalows within 4 to 6 meters of Copthorne land.  The explosions will shock and alarm people miles away, not least the Dalat School students, so close by.

At the press conference after the MBPP hearing, Michael Deeb, explained all this to reporters and showed them how close the new tower would be to the 4 Cove buildings. He also warned that it would harm investment. As an example, he noted that currently 71 of the 144 units of the Cove are owned by foreigners, the remaining 73 belong to locals, 50 of whom occupy their units, renting out the remainder to foreigners. He suspected that if Copthorne is given the green light, many of the owners will consider giving up on their investments and there will be more empty and low value apartments.   ENDS aa 30-11-16