Bukit Gasing to continue bungalow development

Submitted by Najiah on Monday, September 6th, 2010

Reena Raj

Monday, September 6th, 2010 19:47:00

KUALA LUMPUR: The long-disputed bungalow development at Bukit Gasing by Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd overcame another legal hurdle today when the High Court here decided residents in the area don't have any right to be heard in relation to the proposed hillside slope project.

Counsel R. Sivarasa — who represented the residents — said the judge stated the Federal Territories Planning Act 1982 applies to the development.

Therefore, the residents would not have the right to be heard on the development — unless it falls within the rules under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, which did not apply in this case, he explained.

"For those reasons, the right to be heard only arises if there's a change of density or use of the land, which did not arise in this case."

The decision was delivered by Judge Datuk Aziah Ali in chambers, dismissing the judicial review application filed by the residents and the Joint-Action Committee of Bukit Gasing in an effort to seek a public hearing on the said development.

The application was filed to challenge a development order issued by then Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ruslin Hassan in relation to a hillslope development project in the area.

Gasing Meridian's counsel, Joslyne Goonting, said they are relieved as their position has been vindicated by the courts ruling.

"As of today, the stay order has been lifted and the developers are free to the development."

He added that there has been a misconception by many that the proposed development is on a public land. But the developers are in fact the registered proprietors of 71 individual subdivided titles were issued in 1977 and for which the category of land use was expressed for building.

About 30 residents, who were present in court, expressed their disappointment over the court’s decision.

A member of the Bukit Gasing joint action committee contended that it was a matter of the residents safety.

On March 19, the residents were allowed to proceed with their application at the High Court to challenge the project's development order after the Federal Court dismissed an application for leave to appeal by the KL City Hall and developer Gasing Meridian against the Court of Appeal ruling with costs.

Chief Justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi, who sat together with Federal Court judges Justices James Foong and Md Raus Sharif, ruled that the full merit of the case should be heard first at the High Court.

The Bench also ordered KL City Hall and GMSB to pay RM20,000 each in total to the residents.

On Nov 20, last year, Court of Appeal judges Justices Zaleha Zahariand Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus dismissed the appeal by City Hall and the developer against the leave ruling in a 2-1 majority decision, with Justice K.N. Segara dissenting.

The High Court had on April 24 last year granted leave to the residents for a judicial review to quash the mayor’s order, based on the residents' claim the mayor had failed to take into account that they had a right under common law to be given due notice, and be given a chance to voice their opinions in the decision-making process of planning.

Gasing Meridian is the developer involved in the development of Sanctuary Ridge Kuala Lumpur City, a project to build 70 bungalows on a 15.5ha site in Bukit Gasing.

The Kuala Lumpur mayor, in an order dated Oct 2, 2007 allowed the developer to carry out earth works and subdivisions in the area.

In a statement released last year, Gasing meridian stated all approvals, including the Development Order, Hoarding Permit and Earthworks Permit, had been obtained and that the project had been reviewed by the Sensitivity Committee of the Federal Territories