THE heritage building at No. 218 in Macalister Road here will be part of a mixed development project approved by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) in 2013.
“The architect has informed the council that the construction materials for the main building will be detached and removed to a temporary storage location.
“The building will then be rebuilt at the original location once the foundation works for the project is completed at the site.
“The detaching of the building was carried out last year and the materials were then stored at a premises in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah.
“However, the materials were transferred to a different location late last year because the premises owner wanted to develop the site,” the MBPP said in a statement on Thursday.
The council added that the architect had informed them that the heritage building was in a dilapidated state when the state government and then Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) approved the planning permission for development at the site.
“The building went through several modifications during its usage as a commercial building. In order to preserve and protect the building, the developer was asked to preserve the building using the dismantling and reconstruction method recommended by conservation expert Prof Dr A. Ghafar Ahmad.”
MBPP was responding to a press statement made by Penang Gerakan on the ‘mysterious disappearance’ of the heritage building in Macalister Road as reported by an online news portal on June 6 and a Chinese daily on Thursday.
In the article by the online news portal titled ‘Mystery of missing heritage mansion body parts’, Penang Gerakan had asked the state government and MBPP to explain the ‘sudden disappearance’ of the disassembled parts of a heritage mansion from its makeshift storage house.
Its secretary Oh Tong Keong had reportedly said (in The Star) that a check by the party revealed that the building materials stored at the Soonstead Mansion in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah had disappeared.