A LAST minute change in the 2030 Seberang Prai Local Plan draft saw the removal of a rail link connecting Butterworth with the proposed Kulim airport.
Seberang Prai mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud said the Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) had no powers to suggest the rail link to another state.
“The council had merely laid out future land use plans for the next 10 years in its development plan, ” said Rozali in a statement.
“It was to be an important link to boost Penang Sentral’s status as northern region’s key transport hub in Butterworth, but we have no jurisdiction to dictate development or propose new rail links in the area under the Kulim Municipal Council, ” he noted.
As such, he said any remarks related to development in other areas will be removed from the draft.
He urged the public to provide their feedback as their views were important to draft out a comprehensive plan.
The proposed rail link which was displayed on July 2, connects Penang Sentral, Butterworth’s transport hub, with stops in Bukit Mertajam and Kulim and going north to the Kulim airport at Sidam Kiri.
There is also a plan for the construction of a Light Rail Transit line to run parallel with Penang Bridge from Jelutong ending at Penang Sentral.
MBSP town planning consultant Norliza Hashim in her live presentation on MBSP’s Facebook on July 2, said there will be new ferry services which are expected to be introduced from the island to the mainland.
“Two new ferry terminals will be built near Queensbay in Bayan Lepas and another at ‘Gurney Quay’ which is expected to be located at the Gurney Wharf area with fast ferries taking passengers to Penang Sentral.
“By 2030, 13 new bus lines are expected to be introduced, with an average waiting time of 15 to 20 minutes, complemented by more feeder buses and ‘park and ride’ facilities which are to be expanded and built, ” she said.
Norliza added that three new development hubs would be introduced — Greater Butter- worth, Kepala Batas-Bertam and Bandar Cassia-Simpang Ampat — which will have high tech parks, logistic hubs and transit-oriented development.
“However, the new growth areas are subject to new housing density rules ranging from six units per acre to 60 units per acre, according to the area, ” she pointed out.
MBSP also announced ‘20 minute cities’ where one can shuttle between major towns on the mainland through public transport and find important services and facilities within the commute time.
A further 2, 511ha of land has been earmarked for upgrading existing 16 industrial areas with another seven new industrial parks to be opened to cater to demand.
Norliza said a total of 214ha will be designated to capitalise on the expected boom in light industries and demand for lorry depots for the logistics sector.
“There are presently 12, 782ha of padi fields in Seberang Prai and more areas will be zoned for agricultural and padi farming, to provide food security.
“Mangrove areas off Penaga will be gazetted as permanent forest reserve along with other forests in Bukit Mertajam and a firefly zone in Sungai Kerian, ” she added.
The local plan draft is open for public feedback until today.
The public can give their views via MBSP’s online page at https://tinyurl.com/emjawnhf