Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The 4 Hotels must comply with 18m height regulation for hotel projects in Penang World Heritage Site

The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has instructed the developers of the four controversial hotel projects in inner George Town to comply with the 18m height or five-storey ruling.

The MPPP acted on the instructions of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who has decided that commitment to George Town’s status as a World Heritage Site (WHS) should take priority over the hotel projects, following consultation with heritage experts from Unesco.

The hotels facing height restriction are the Eastern & Oriental Hotel extension project known as Annexe at Lebuh Farquahar; the Boustead Group’s RM130mil Royale Bintang Hotel; the Asian Global Business Group’s Rice Miller Hotel in Weld Quay; and the Low Yat Group’s proposed hotel project at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah.

“After meeting with Unesco’s heritage experts, we decided that commitment to George Town’s WHS status should be of overriding concern.

“If need to, we will look into the legal aspects to defend George Town’s WHS status,” Lim told reporters after water supply company PBA Holdings Bhd’s AGM.

Lim added that the developers of the three hotel projects had agreed to comply with the 18m-height ruling.

“One has yet to reply. But I believe that the developer believes in exercising corporate social responsibility and shares the state government’s vision to preserve George Town’s WHS status,” he said.

On the usage of water in the state, Lim said the state government was considering imposing penalties on households using excessive water next year.

“The water rates in Penang are the lowest, presently fixed at 31sen per litre, and the usage of water in the state is higher than in Singapore,” he said.

Source : STAR
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