Penang could become high-density area, warns Chant

high-density development

PETALING JAYA: A civil society group has warned that Penang Island would become a free for all high-density high-rise structural development area if the city council implemented plans to increase the density of units per acre.

Penang Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) coordinator Yan C Lee said a reliable source from the state government had told him of a plan in the pipeline to increase the density per acre for housing zones originally earmarked for 30 units per acre, to 122 units per acre.

“The council is now in the process to get the plan approved by the State Planning Committee (SPC) chaired by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“It’s sure to be a free for all high-rise high-density development opportunity for developers.

“A major developer can easily acquire three bungalow lots and build a high-rise building within any residential neighbourhood.

“Why the need to increase the density ratio when the population is decreasing by migrating to the mainland? Will such high-rise, high-density developments provide comfortable houses for people to live?” he asked at a press conference today.

When contacted, state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow confirmed that the city council was formulating a policy to hike up the density following a directive from the SPC.

“The council follows policy decided by the state planning committee,” said Chow, declining to comment further.

Lee also called on the Penang Institute – the state think tank on development plans, to state its stand clearly on the proposal to increase housing density.

“Penang Institute uses public funds to run its operations.

“Thus, it should publicly state its stand on such an issue of public importance,” said Lee.