THE Penang Island City Council and George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) have refuted claims that the state government is not following guidelines under the George Town World Heritage Site’s Special Area Plan (SAP) on the approval of hotel development projects.
In a press statement, Penang Gerakan acting Youth chief Jason Loo questioned why approval was given for a building at 66, Church Street, and two units at 7 and 9, King Street, to be converted into hotels.
Coming forward to clear the air, council heritage conservation director Noorhanis Noordin said approval was given because the plans submitted had the buildings down for commercial use.
“The building at 66, Church Street was approved for refurbishment works to the existing three-storey shophouse.
“The premises at 7, King Street was similarly approved for refurbishment works and change of use from residential to commercial.
“There is no application for any development of the premises at 5, King Street at this time,” she pointed out in a press conference at the site yesterday.
Noorhanis reiterated that all applications for development within the George Town World Heritage Site needed to conform to guidelines under the SAP.
“The applications will be reviewed by a Technical Review Panel to ensure that all heritage aspects are adhered to, before consideration and approval are given by the council,” she said.