Penang urged to gazette local plan

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 17 Nov 2018

Yan Lee says a local plan willprovide specific details of an individual lot in an area and prevent ‘surprise’ developments.

PENANG, Perlis and parts of some states in west Malaysia have yet to gazette their local plans.

Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) pointed out that the local plans for 80% of the areas in west Malaysia were already gazetted and that Penang should follow suit.

Chant adviser Yan Lee said the figures were issued by the Town and Village Planning Department which shows the status of gazetted local plans as of February 2012.

He said a local plan was crucial as it would provide specific details of an individual lot in an area and prevent any ‘surprise’ developments.

“Without a local plan, people don’t know what they are getting themselves into as when they buy property, there is no assurance about the surrounding areas,” he said during a press conference.

Yan Lee compared the local plan to the state’s Structure Plan, which he described as a plan that allowed flexibility in town planning.

“The Structure Plan usually tends to be a general idea and not specific.

“The new guidelines under the Structure Plan allow a small-time developer to buy plots on which two semi-detached houses sit and the developer can then demolish or convert the houses to build a high-rise, thus increasing the population density,” he said.

He added that when a local plan is gazetted, such a practice would first be brought to the state assembly to be deliberated before approval.

Yan Lee also praised the state government for its decision to display the Penang Structure Plan 2030 draft for two months instead of the one month given under the law.

He hoped that the state would give priority to gazetting the local plan.

“The local plan was supposed to be gazetted before GE13 but the state wanted to include a Special Area Plan (SAP) for the heritage area, Botanic Garden and Penang Hill,” he said.

In July, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government hoped to gazette the Penang Structure Plan by next year.

Chow also said the Penang island local plan would be gazetted next year.

The local plan, which was approved in 2008 but never gazetted and enforced, looks at the types of development and densities allowed in each area of a district in detail.

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