GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here has ruled in favour of Sunway City (Penang) Sdn Bhd in a judicial review application and quashed the decision of the Penang Appeals Board which struck out the planning permission given to the property developer for a project in Sungai Ara.
Sunway City, which is the registered proprietor of a 32.7ha plot in Sungai Ara known as Lot 14345, filed the application on April 18 last year against the decision made by the board on Jan 27 last year.
It named the board, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and owners of a neighbouring plot of land as first, second and third respondents respectively.
In his judgement, Justice Lim Chong Fong said the planning permission granted by the then Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) on Feb 21, 2012 in respect of Sunway City’s application to develop a gated and guarded housing scheme is confirmed and maintained.
He said the proposed development, comprising 600 landed and high-rise units with two clubhouses, was below the maximum density.
The zoning of Lot 14345 for general and low density housing was made under Pelan Dasar Perancangan dan Kawalan Pemajuan which was approved by the State Planning Committee (SPC) on July 16, 1996.
Lot 14345 is situated more than 76m above sea level and approximately 43% of the plot has a gradient exceeding 25 degrees.
Justice Lim said MPPP could process the developer’s application for the project without having to refer to the SPC as it came within Category Two of the SPC Guidelines for ‘special projects’.
“The SPC when approving the SPC Guidelines had decided that all applications for planning permission under Category One and Two are no longer required to be referred to the SPC in order to expedite consideration of the applications,” he said.
He also said Lot 14345 was a first grade land title land without restriction of land use, hence there is no necessity for an application for a change of land use to be made.
Justice Lim ordered the third respondent to pay costs of RM25,000 each to the developer and MBPP.
Christina Siew represented the developer while Charanjit Singh and Azlena Hashim appeared for the appeals board. Representing MBPP were Karin Lim, M. Murgan and Cyrus Lim while the third respondent was represented by Datuk Lakhbir Singh Chahl.
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