Bukit Bandaraya folks want high-rise project shelved

The retention pond next to Lorong Maarof will be enclosed according to plans by the developer.

BUKIT Bandaraya residents are urging Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to cancel the approval for a high-rise residential project next to a water retention pond along Lorong Maarof in Bangsar.

They claim that any development there could result in landslides and flooding in the area, which had already experienced such incidents in October and December last year.

The area in question consists of two lots – 0.31ha and 0.8ha in size, which includes a 0.36ha retention pond.

Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association (BBRA) adviser Datuk Mumtaz Ali said the development could have disastrous consequences for nearby residents.

“We have recently experienced several landslides and flash floods less than 100m away from this development.

“The road itself is very congested with many buses passing by, and there is also a school, SMK Bukit Bandaraya, nearby,” Ali said during a press conference.

“With Kuala Lumpur’s population growing, we need more greenery and open spaces.

“We have repeatedly asked DBKL to preserve the area as green space for the nearby residents by linking it up to Federal Hill, with jogging and walking tracks,” added Ali.

Tan says development of the lots where the retention pond is sited will degrade the environment.Tan says development of the lots where the retention pond is sited will degrade the environment.He also hoped that the retention pond would remain untouched.

According to information from the one-stop centre (OSC) portal under the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the lots were sold to a developer in 2017.

The developer had initially applied for planning permission for a commercial project on April 6, 2021, but deferred the application on April 27 that year.

On April 1, 2022, the developer applied for planning permission for a residential project (luxury apartments) and received conditional approval on April 18.

The plan would also include enclosing the retention pond.

BBRA president Charles Tan said residents were not aware of the change in status for the lots.

“We only learned about it through the media and we have been checking on the status of the OSC portal to ensure that the area is untouched.

“Residents must have a say on the development that is taking place in the area,” he added.

Tan said the portal also showed that there would be an increase in the density per acre for the area.

“It concerns us that they approved an increase in density from 400 persons per acre (which is the highest density allowed presently) to 1,600 persons per acre.

“Such development in a small area will degrade the environment and result in further landslides, besides reducing the land’s water carrying capacity and causing more flooding,” added Tan.

When contacted, DBKL said it was aware of residents’ concerns.

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