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Friday, November 9, 2012

Proposed developments near Highland Towers have residents worried over their safety

In need of assurance: The site of one of the proposed developments is located a few hundred metres from Highland Towers.

PROPOSED developments that will be constructed not far from Highland Towers and Bukit Antarabangsa, areas known for landslide tragedies in the past, have made some of the neighbourhood residents jittery. They are determined to ensure that these do not undermine their safety.

Some 100 residents attended a peaceful protest organised by the Taman Sri Ukay & Taman Hillview Special Action Committee yesterday.

The residents had submitted their objection against the two proposed developments, including one that will take place a few hundred metres from Highland Towers itself.

The latter involves the construction of five 17-storey blocks comprising 70 duplex condominium units.

The other development will be constructed near Taman Hillview entrance, comprising three 40-storey blocks of 1,000 serviced apartment units.

“We are extremely concerned that our interests are not being safeguarded by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), after finding inconsistencies in the information provided by the developers,” Special Action Committee spokesman Lee Joo Khim said.

She said the residents had attended a briefing with both developers on Oct 3 and had requested for certain documents including geotechnical reports and layout plans. The briefing was organised by MPAJ.

“In the bigger project, we found a discrepancy in the land title as it states a land size before the Government acquired part of the land to build the Middle Ring Road II.

“That will affect the plot ratio calculation,” she said.

She added that the worried residents had not received a reply from MPAJ — whether the documents were the same as the ones submitted to the council or not.

As for the other project, Lee said the developer had not given them any of the requested documents, citing legal reasons.

“They had organised a presentation on Oct 23, which was attended by the Residents’ Association Committee.

“The Special Action Committee did not attend this presentation as we felt it was pointless, seeing that we would have no way of verifying the information they presented,” said Lee.

She said the residents just wanted to know the proper procedures, guidelines and rules and that developments carried out should be within reasonable limits.

MPAJ Town Planning Department director Nizam Sahari said both development proposals had been sent to the state Environmentally Sensitive Areas Development Technical Committee for endorsement.

“This is part of the process for any slope development application. Both projects have to follow all the guidelines and laws that guide these developments,” he said, adding that the projects would be built at the foot of a slope that was privately owned.

“A properly engineered and maintained slope is safer compared to one that is left on its own,” said Nizam, adding that the estimated cost to engineer the slope was RM12mil.

Nizam also said that both projects essentially met the guidelines and legal requirements for such development, although neither had yet to be approved at this point.

By The Star

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