GEORGE TOWN, March 24 – Around 20 residents of Bayu Ferringhi and Sri Sayang hold a peaceful demonstration ato urged City Council of Penang Island (MBPP) to seriously consider the objections raised by residents of Bayu Ferringhi and Sri Sayang on a proposed 15-storey budget hotel with 228 rooms on Lots 26 and 94, Section 2, Bandar Batu Ferringhi, Daerah Timur Laut, Penang this morning.
Shirley Yates said the developer, Tetuan Rising Bluechip Sdn Bhd has proposed to build a block of the to be build 15-storey budget hotel with 228 rooms in a small piece of land between Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa and Army Camp. She said that the development consists of a 4-storey vehicle parking lot, about 13-storey of hotel rooms and other amenities.
“There are approximately 175 holidays accommodations readily available in Batu Ferringhi including hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, speciality lodgings and numerous holiday rentals. Therefore, we question that need for yet another hotel in the area,” said Shirley Yates
“All hotels in Batu Ferringhi beachfront are limited to conform to a height of eight floors which adds an attractive character to the beach. This proposed 15-storey hotel will stand out as an eyesore and it would contravene the set building regulations,” she said.
“The Batu Ferringhi beach is fronted by mostly 4 to 5 stars hotels with its flagship being the exclusive and world renowned Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa owned by Shangri-La group which gives it an up market status. It is important and essential to attract better heeled tourists from abroad enabling to compete with other prestigious resorts in South East Asia,” she said.
Shirley said the proposed of the 3-star hotel, which is in the process of gaining local government approval for construction is next to Army Camp which is a cause for concern as to its safety and security. She said the location of the hotel is on notoriously dangerous bend, the entrance and exit will be an added hazard to drivers given that the speed limit is 70 kilometres.
She said the condition of the main road us constantly deteriorating by constant heavy haulage vehicles. She said a lot has been previously reported in Press about the urgent need for a bypass road to alleviate the traffic congestion which occurs every weekend and during holiday periods.
She said this will severely affect emergency services in and out of the area which poses a threat to lives of residents and visitors. She said another hotel will further stretch the water and power supply and available amenities. She also added that there will be added pollution as well, such as dust, dirt and diesel fumes which poses health hazards to residents and visitors.
“Batu Ferringhi is now at a crucial crossroad for its future. It must look forward with a vision of itself as an upmarket tourist resort with proper planning design backed by a strong infrastructure. The sewage and drainage systems need to be updated. The Tourist Board should be involved with project approvals if tourism is to flourish,” Shirley said.
“This piece of land could have been used by a developer to build a state of the art convention centre. This could attract a high level executive clientele thus bringing employment and prosperity to Penang Island. At here, we (residents of Bayu Ferringhi and Sri Sayang) would like to urge MBPP to reconsider on this project. If they approve the project, we will take really strict action which to appeal it,” she added.