KUALA LUMPUR City Hall (DBKL) has given developer Aston Villa Sdn Bhd the approval to build the 32-storey office tower at Jalan Scott in Brickfields.
Its Building Control Department director Alias Marjoh said the planning permission to develop on the 1,207.7 sq m was approved on Jan 27.
Alias affirmed that the Fire and Rescue Department’s approval and developer’s compliance with their Technical Department’s requirements were sufficient.
“The developers submitted building plans on April 25 that were approved on July 22 after meeting several conditions.
“It involved consulting with SWCorp Malaysia on roads and drainage, fulfilling the number of parking bays to provide; they also received approval from the fire department on June 21, 2016 as well as the Civil Aviation Department.
“But they cannot start work yet as they are still trying to get approval from the Federal Territories Land Office to convert the plot of land from residential to commercial.
On nearby residents’ fear of the project’s close proximity to their homes, Alias said there was adequate space with a 3.05m setback on both sides, and at least 6.1m front and back.
“We usually approve building residences or offices on a land size 929 sqm and above; density of the area is also average, not low but not high either.
“As for the carpark, the plans show there is enough space of around 36m for about 10 cars to wait in the building compound for the two mechanical car lifts.
“So there should not be an issue with traffic management because cars won’t be waiting on the road,” he said.
Aston Villa operations chief Wellen Remy Rizal said it had gone above and beyond for the commercial development.
“All the conditions given have been fulfilled and we received the Development Order in Oct 2016.
“We’ve got the Fire Department’s approval and for a development of this size, we only require partial access in compliance with their safety regulation,” he said, adding that the building would be equipped with sprinkler systems and other fire safety precautions.
“As it will be a commercial building, the office tower will actually be much safer than residential buildings as they require stricter regulations.
He also elaborated on the modern construction methods used such as piling techniques with low impact on neighbouring developments.
“As for the carpark, it is a box parking system for heavy-duty usage, used in Germany and Japan, an efficient technology that is time saving, not time consuming.
“DBKL has also asked us to conduct a Traffic Impact Assessment, which is not usually necessary for a development of this size,” said Wellen.
Brickfields’ residents had lodged complaints with the Public Complaints Bureau and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against the development on Sept 22 which were acknowledged by both bodies.
Their complaints were followed up with a meeting organised by Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun between Scott Sentral and Villa Scott Condominium residents with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz on Nov 14.
Villa Scott resident A. S. Ratnam said they had no issues with the land being developed, but not at the expense of safety and living standards.
“One of the issues we brought up with the mayor was on last year’s objection hearing and the Aston Villa representative’s response when asked about how a fire truck would enter the small premises.
“The representative said the fire trucks could use our entrance instead should there be a fire," she said.
Saraswathy R, 60, a Villa Scott resident of 15 years, was perplexed how DBKL could approve the project when it knew residents opposed the project.
“There will be a drop in living standards for residents in the area because of how close the office tower will be to our residences.
“Those who can afford it can move out, but many Villa Scott residents are senior citizens who have put their life savings into owning a unit here,” she said.