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Residents win fight to keep residential land status
09/01/2009 NST By Halim Said

SHAH ALAM: Subang Galaksi house buyers got their wish to have a piece of vacant land behind their units kept as residential land -- and they have Shah Alam mayor Mazalan Md Noor to thank for it.

The developers, Sohock, and Garden Build. subsidiaries of Merge Housing, had submitted an application to the Shah Alam City Council late last year to convert the usage of several plots of land in the area.

However, at a recent public forum, Merge Housing said the mayor had requested that that plot of land be retained for residential use.

"We will comply with the mayor's request. But we will wait until the matter has been endorsed by the council," said Merge Housing executive director Anthony Michael.

Anthony said the vacant land, which is adjacent to the Subang Galaksi housing scheme, was initially identified for industrial usage 15 years ago.

"However, the former developer failed to develop the land and after the project was abandoned, we took over the ownership of the land. In 2002, we set aside the land for residential development as there was a high demand for housing property then," he said.

Following the recent drop in demand for houses, the company decided to convert the land back to its original status.

Mazalan said the council had allowed the developer to change the status of two other plots of land in the area to commercial and residential.

"One of the plots has been amended from low and medium-cost apartment development to commercial development while the other plot, which is an area of open space, will house the apartments," said Mazalan, adding that the matter would be discussed by the council committee before endorsement in a full-board meeting.

The 45-minute public forum was also attended by some 30 house buyers of Subang Galaksi and other residents.

House buyer Ng Chee Chong, 42, was happy with the outcome of the meeting.

"I hope the decision to maintain the land for residential development will be written in black and white so that this problem will not recur," he said.

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