KUALA LUMPUR (April 25): The Taman Rimba Kiara state park, which has been earmarked for a controversial mixed development, was never intended to be a public open space, the Federal Court heard on Friday in appeals brought by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and four others to reinstate the project's development order.

DBKL’s lawyer B. Thangaraj submitted to a three man bench via online proceedings that the targeted land was intended for mixed development, and that the Court of Appeal had made an error in quashing the development order issued to developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd for the project.

On Jan 27 last year, the appellate court overturned the High Court's decision on Nov 28, 2018 that rejected the residents’ judicial review to get a certiorari order to quash the conditional planning permission and development order issued by DBKL.

Thangaraj said DBKL had not been wrong in issuing the development order in 2017 for the project to commence.

“This is a serious error made by the Court of Appeal, which had influenced the adverse finding against DBKL,” he said.

He also contended that the land was never zoned for open spaced parks, as contended by the residents.

During proceedings before the Federal Court's judges, comprising Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, Memang Perkasa’s lawyer Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram contended that the TTDI residents had no legal standing to commence the legal action against DBKL.

“They are not entitled to the judicial review’s reliefs because they are not adversely affected and they were not granted the right under the Planning (Development) Rules for the local authorities to consider their views,” he said.

He said DBKL does not owe the residents an explanation or common law duty on why it had rejected their objections against the development. "But it is obligatory to DBKL to provide reasons to my client (if the application for permission to develop is rejected),” he said.

He said the residents do not fall under the category of people that could be adversely affected by this development and development decisions, as provided for in the Federal Territory Planning Act.

The residents had filed the judicial review application on Aug 11, 2017 through the management bodies of Trellises Apartment, Kiara Green Townhouses, Residence Condominium, TTDI Plaza Condominium, The Greens Condominium, as well as TTDI Residents Association and four TTDI residents and house owners.

DBKL, Yayasan Wilayah, Memang Perkasa and the Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association were named as respondents in the judicial review.

The residents also sought a certiorari order to quash the development order dated July 13, 2017 issued by DBKL for the proposed development — comprising eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments and 29-storey apartments with 350 units of affordable housing — to be built on a plot that is part of Taman Rimba Kiara.

The trial continues on April 28 with Tan Sri Cecil Abraham for Yayasan Wilayah Persekutan and Professor Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar for the residents to start their submissions then.

Edited by Tan Choe Choe

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