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Rulings to keep developers in check
Malay Mail 20/12/2004 By Sushma Veera

Kuala Lumpur: Guidelines tend to be set aside but a ruling must be adhered to or developers risk being penalised.

Laws should be introduced on hillslope development to compel developers to follow them, said the National House Buyers Association secretary-general Chang Kim Loong.

He was asked to comment on the rampant development taking place near hillslopes in Selangor.

The Selangor State Government has drawn up guidelines allowing development on hills with gradient of less than 25 degrees.

In areas where the gradient is between 26 and 36 degrees, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), geological and geo-technical reports have to be carried out before approval is given.

On hills with a gradient of 36 degrees and more, no development is allowed and this includes agricultural land.

Said Chang: "Although all local councils are bound by guidelines, there are some who do not follow. Directives are usually adhered to strictly."

He also said the people's view and comments must be taken into consideration.

"If a developer wants to develop any area, they must meet with the residents."

Any high-density project must factor in its impact on traffic flow, the road system and other infrastructure and the lifestyle of the people.

"The councils, in return should only give approval after the infrastructure is built.

"Studies and reports must comply with Local Agenda 21 that requires the participation of the public, and owners of neighbouring lots should be allowed to object to the proposed development," added Chang.

He also suggested that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports, soil and geological studies be made compulsory for all hillside developments.

"Hillside developers should also provide the contour map of the area to buyers," he said.

Appoint experts to monitor hillslopes, local councils told

Kuala Lumpur: Local councils should appoint experts to supervise and monitor development on hillslopes.

The suggestion came from the Selangor Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) chairman Muztaza Mohammed who claimed local councils lack expertise in this field.

"We are moving into the era of professional management and it is important for the authorities to have experiences and professional personnel."

Muztaza also suggested that the local councils should set up a body to monitor all hillslope development in their respective areas.

"The members must be experiences and well versed in the project and this would help keep track of any soil movement in the area and arrest the problem before it worsens," said Muztaza.

Muztaza also said local councils should know whether a certain area can be developed to save developers from incurring high cost in consultation fees.

Rehda Selangor has 350 developers as members.


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