GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government has refuted claims that a neo-classical building constructed in 1921 along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah here was demolished to make way for a commercial complex and five-star hotel.
State local government, traffic management and flood mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said demolition works in the area involved other structures near the building, which is known as Hotel Runnymede.
"The planning permission issued to Messrs Warisan Pinang Sdn Bhd was for building an office block, commercial complex and hotel only, while Hotel Runnymede will be retained and refurbished," he told a press conference here on Thursday.
He said a news report on Monday which said the state government was trying to hide the demolition works of the building was inaccurate.
It is understood that the three-storey building is located on a 0.8 hectare site along the coast, making it among the most valuable pieces of real estate in Penang.
However, Chow said, the building was located outside the George Town World Heritage site and it was still being considered if it could potentially be declared a heritage building. – Bernama