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GEORGE TOWN: Hillslope development in Penang will only be approved if the land is less than 76m high.

However, State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said developers who had obtained planning permission from the Seberang Prai Municipal Council and Penang Municipal Council prior to 2007 were exempted from the ruling.

“Yes, we have approved hillslope development but our approval is subject to scrutiny by the high-risk land development committee as well as over 10 other relevant authorities, including the local councils’ internal departments,” he said.

Chow said the local councils were finalising their reports on hillslope development approvals for submission to the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

“We will submit a full report by this week,” he said.

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said recommendations of the high-risk land development committee, which he heads, were not binding on the local councils.

The committee comprises professional bodies such as the Mineral and Geo-Science Department, Public Works Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department and Public Works Institute.

State Town and Country Planning, Housing and Arts Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said hillslope development was necesssary as the Penang population of 1.6 million was expected to reach two million by 2020.

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