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More land for affordable housing in Batu Kawan

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has increased its allocation from 150 acres (60ha) to 200 acres in Batu Kawan to build at least 7,300 quality affordable residential units priced between RM72,500 and RM220,000.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Penang Development Corp (PDC) has come up with a design concept for the people’s housing project estimated to cost billions of ringgit which is within the mega township development of Bandar Cassia in Seberang Perai Selatan.

With excellent accessibility and connectivity to major highways, bridge links to Penang island including the second Penang crossing, major ports and airports, Lim said the scheme will complement the existing development in Bandar Cassia, the largest integrated township development in Penang.

Lim said while PDC has come up with the concept, the state government would still call for an open tender for the project to get more suggestions and ideas and enable others to participate.

Earthworks for the entire 200 acres is estimated to take 18 months to complete but work will commence on 60 acres with completion targeted within nine months.

Tenders for the first package comprising some 600 apartments are expected to be awarded by 1Q 2012 with construction targeted to commence by 2Q 2012.

The whole development is targeted for completion in five to seven years.

Lim said Penangites will be given priority for the units as the project will be heavily subsidised by the state government and PDC.

“We will use this concept as a starting point and if we do it by open tender, we may get value added and better ideas.

“Most importantly, we want to set the benchmarks for affordable housing that is also quality living.

“We do not want to have our children live in cramped and cage-like conditions and end up as dysfunctional children. Without amenities, it is not healthy living.

“If we can, we want to have a holistic and sustainable housing concept,” Lim told a press conference.

An artist’s impression of Intan Delima double
-storey low medium-cost houses in Bandar
Cassia, Batu Kawan.

PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar said PDC’s proposal was based on the concept of affordable quality lifestyle housing that promotes sustainable community living to foster good neighbourliness.

“Emphasis will be given to building designs that promote social integration among various strata of society within the same building blocks with units of different sizes to cater for families of various sizes and to accommodate various generations from the young to the elderly with facilities that are disabled friendly.

“Great care is given to optimise density in order to  give a feeling of spaciousness by keeping density to 56 units for medium rise apartments,” Rosli added.

Pricing ranges from RM72,500 for low medium-cost apartments of at least 800 sq feet to a maximum of RM220,000 for larger units.

Rosli said good public amenities will be provided including surau, other religious facilities, halls, nursery and child care, libraries, educational centres, community malls and markets.
Social integration and interaction will be enhanced through friendly interbuilding linkages via bicycle lanes and shaded footpaths.

Rosli said a comprehensive range of sport and recreational facilities will be provided to promote healthy living including football fields, futsal, sports hall, swimming pool, playground, jogging and bicycle tracks, and outdoor gyms.

“This development will incorporate sustainable eco-friendly features and landscaped green areas. Building design will incorporate among others, rainwater harvesting and good cross ventilation.

“Other features include retention ponds, sprawling parkland and neighbourhood parks that are located within a five minutes’ walk and green street concept,” Lim added.

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