KOTA KINABALU: The controversial mixed redevelopment of the city’s iconic Tanjung Aru beach will move ahead with the first phase focusing on enlarging the Prince Philip Park over the next three years.
The move to double the size of the historic beach side park to 30ha and transform it into a rainforest park will be part of the 340ha redevelopment to be carried out by the state-owned Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED).
Tanjung Aru Eco Development project manager Peter Adam said the refurbishment of Kota Kinabalu’s first park to commemorate the visit of Britain’s Prince Philip would include a promenade, walking and cycling tracks and an ecology centre.
“This will remain an area open to the public as is the strip of 1.35km of beach area there,” he said after the unveiling of the project model by Kota Kinabalu mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai here.
He added works would begin early next year and would be carried out over four phases with completion expected in 2019.
Adam said the development would include the construction of a 133ha golf retreat featuring a Greg Norman-designed golf course, seven hotels totalling 1,800 rooms as well as about 5,000 apartment and condominium units.
He said a key feature of the TAED was the construction of a 6km-long and 42m-wide canal that would front residential lots in the area there.
Adam said the TAED would include a 26ha retail and food and beverage area called Prince Philip Wharf and a marina berthing up to 200 vessels.
The special environmental impact assessment (EIA) for TAED would be submitted to the state Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in September.
To a question, he said among the mitigating measures to be taken was to relocate a pair of hornbills and other birds in the area such as blue nape parrots by providing them nesting boxes at alternate sites nearby.
Yeo said the state government had insisted that the heritage trees in the redevelopment area be maintained.
He added that some of these trees would be temporarily transplanted and re-planted to comply with the state government’s requirement.
Yeo said the redevelopment of Tanjung Aru was necessary, as the area had been facing erosion problems since 1985.
Environmental groups in the state had been urging the state government to scrap the project and instead concentrate on rehabilitating the park and ensuring that it remains accessible to the public.
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