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Fiabci Penang urges review of development criteria Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 October 2008 00:05

by Regina William

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang chapter of Fiabci Malaysia has urged the state goverment to consider allowing development to be carried out exceeding the height of 75 metres in view of the shortage of land.

In a memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Fiabci-Malaysia Penang said land prices were high in view of the land shortage in the state and purchasers were burdened with escalating costs of materials.

Fiabci-Malaysia Penang branch chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong, who led a delegation to submit the memorandum to Lim, said that soon it would almost be impossible for Penangites to own homes and developers would also find it difficult to sell their products due to the escalating price of land.

“More development projects will be able to go on if the height of 75 metres for hillslope development is revised. Penang has also not revised its density guidelines for the last 30 years and developed countries have their density ratio reviewed every five to 10 years.

“In Penang, 80% of residential units come with a built-up area of only 700 sq ft and this does not do justice to consumers who are now more affluent and need bigger living space.

“We should move away from constructing homes based on the equivalent floor space and we feel that the size of residential units to be built should be left to market demand.

“The plot ratio for commercial development should also be uniform and we propose that higher plot ratios should only be given to development in prime areas such as tourism-related areas,” he added.

He also suggested that the state government make it compulsory for all high-rise residential units to come with at least two car park lots which could be sold, while landed properties should be designed to house more cars which could effectively rid of all illegal roadside parking and prevent traffic congestion in housing estates.

Khor said there was a demand for 8,000 to 10,000 units of residential housing yearly and to adequately address the demand, proper planning according to market demands must be made so the right products were made available to the public and not resulting in an overhang.

“The people’s average income has since increased and the poverty rate in Penang is less compared to other states, so we are proposing that the low-cost requirement imposed by the state government be reduced to 15% (from 30% currently).

“If low-cost housing is not able to be provided in certain areas where land is limited, developers should be given the flexibility to pay financial contribution in lieu of providing low-cost units which can be used to upgrade and upkeep existing low-cost housing projects,” he added.

Fiabci Malaysia Penang also urged the state government to promote “kampung tersusun” and allow the landowners to develop their land for efficient usage.

Khor also called on the state government to allow service apartments to be built in commercial areas to attract long staying foreigners under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

Fiabci also called the state government to ensure the implementation of the second link, Penang Outer Ring Road and monorail without further delay.

“Even though the federal government has indicated the cancellation of these projects, the state government should still find other solutions to solve these issues, especially traffic jams on the island,” he added.

He said the guideline compelling developers to complete high-rise buildings within 36 months to be reviewed due to the strict enforcement by the state government for works to be carried out only from 8am to 6pm.

He said wasteful expenditure of millions of ringgit of public funds under the “cleaning effort” in the past should also be halted and instead what was needed was total dedication, commitment and strong political will to address the issue by looking at efforts taken by other countries worldwide.

 

Source: The Edge Daily



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