KK folk claim land was rezoned without any notice

KOTA KINABALU: Residents of a housing estate here, who are objecting to a plan by the state government to develop a piece of prime land in the area for commercial use, are claiming that the plot was rezoned without public consultation.

The residents of Austral Park in Kepayan Ridge, which is close to the city, want all work on the plot to stop pending investigations.

They said the latest zoning extraction revealed that even land which was supposed to be set aside as open space for the Kepayan Ridge Development Scheme had also been converted without notice or public consultation.

“The recent discovery by the residents that even the open spaces have all been rezoned is alarming. We appeal to the authorities to cease all further work pending a detailed and transparent investigation into the conversion of all the open spaces and sports and recreational reserves surrounding Kepayan Ridge,” they added in a joint statement yesterday.

Last month, Housing and Town Development Authority (LPPB) general manager Rosemary Ahping said the land at Kepayan Ridge belonged to LPPB and was being developed by LPPB and a developer.

The development, she added, was pursuant to a joint-venture agreement, adding that the area has always been zoned as “commercial” for the construction of commercial buildings.

Rosemary stated that the said area was never meant for Austral Park residents and the idea that there would be a “recreational centre and facilities” was due to a proposal by the Sabah Football Association (Safa) which had intended to build a building there but decided against it later.

“Safa’s proposal was only for the use by Safa and not the residents of Austral Park,” she said.

The Austral Park residents, however, contended that according to the master plan dated March 9, 1995, the said land seemed to be earmarked for sport and recreational use.

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