Johor to tighten hillside development rules across all local councils

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor government is looking at tightening regulations for developments in hilly areas, says state housing and local government committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor.

He said this was in line with Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s decree that property developers are not allowed to completely flatten the land when developing hilly areas.

“While there are guidelines under the Local Government Development Ministry, maybe it is not fully implemented at the 16 local councils at the moment.

“His Majesty's decree also touched on climate change issues that may result in floods in the future as well as pollution issues.

"I will have a workshop with all 16 local councils to look into this,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the state assembly sitting here on Sunday (March 19).

He also noted that the construction of projects on hilltops may risk harming houses and villages below as the planning approval only takes into consideration the areas that are being developed, not the surroundings.

“We will synchronise regulations under all 16 local councils statewide as currently, there are different regulations for city councils, municipal councils and district councils.

“Through the workshop with all the local councils, we could re-evaluate the existing standard operating procedures before (streamlining) them,” he added.

On Thursday (March 16), Sultan Ibrahim said that property developers are not allowed to flatten the earth when developing hilly areas.

The Johor Ruler said local councils must ensure that the original topography of the land is retained as much as possible for developments that are carried out on hilly and high ground.

“If there is a need to cut the slope, it should be controlled and done minimally.

“I hope all mayors and presidents of the respective local councils will conduct thorough research before approving such plans,” he decreed when opening the second term of the 15th Johor state assembly meeting.

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