Thursday, June 12, 2008

Residents upset over approval given to shopping complex - The Star

Jun 12, 2008 By TAN KARR WEI

RESIDENTS of Section 19 and SS2 in Petaling Jaya are still upset over the approved building plans and construction hours of a commercial and shopping centre in their neighbourhood.

Thirteen residents, accompanied by Damansara Utama assemblyman Dr Cheah Wing Yin, showed up at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) headquarters to voice their grouses.

Among MBPJ officials present to meet them were town planning department director Sharipah Marhaini Syed Ali, engineering department acting director Ismail Shafie, building plans department director Hamidah Ariffin, development and maintenance department assistant directors Mohd Aswardi Kong Mohd Azizi Kong and Ismathinoon Abd Rahman.

All ears: Dr Cheah (far right, in yellow tie) attended the meeting between MBPJ and Section 19 and SS2 residents.

According to Jalan 19/16 resident Kong Chong Soong, the construction of the road would only affect the houses along it but would create traffic problems in the area.

“Our road would be narrower and we don't want cars parked haphazardly around here. We want the road to be 40feet (12.19m) from our houses for residents' use and the bridge going across the river should also be moved further away,” Kong said.

The residents also want an assurance from the MBPJ that the only access into the building should be from Jalan Harapan because Jalan SS2/72 would not be able to handle the traffic volume.

SS2C Rukun Tetangga chairman Magirin Haron said many high-density projects around the area were built without residents' consent and were causing frustration among the people.

“They keep telling us that we'll be consulted before development took place but it has never happened,” Magirin said.

Sharipah, the MBPJ town planning department director, said the area had been gazetted as a commercial area under the Petaling Jaya Local Draft Plan 1 (RTPJ1) in 2003.

“Under the law, once the plan is gazetted, we don't have to go through the process of hearing with residents all over again,” she said.

“I'm aware of the traffic problem in the area. The whole road system in Jalan Harapan has not been upgraded and this missing link (that connects to the Sprint Highway) has not been put into place. SS2/72 should not be used as an access road to the building until the whole Jalan Harapan road system has been fully built,” Sharipah said.

“I objected to the plans in 2007 but the plans were approved on the basis that residents have been consulted,” she said.

“Based on the objection by residents now, we will review the approval of the plans,” Sharipah said.

As a compromise, Sharipah said she would request for the building setback to be increased while allowing one or two additional floors to be built.

The residents also complained that construction works started as early as 6.45am and goes on until past midnight.

“Sometimes, they even work 24 hours. We can barely sleep with all the noise going on. We can't even access Jalan 19/27 because the construction vehicles are parked all along the road,” Ow Yew Teik said.

The residents suggested that the contractors should only be allowed to access the construction site on Jalan SS2/72 as the roads in their residential area were too narrow.

“If there is an emergency, fire trucks would not be able to get into our road,” Kong said.

Ismathinoon said the council had rejected the contractors' application for the extension of working hours.

The current hours allowed are from Mondays to Saturdays, 8am to 6pm.

MBPJ building plans director Hamidah said that since the contractors did not abide by the stipulated working hours, the council would issue a stop-work order on Friday.

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