TheStar Online

By LOH FOON FONG

KUALA LUMPUR: A newly-approved Guidelines for Hillside and Highland Areas Development Planning bans any development on slopes more than 35 degrees.

The Cabinet made the decision on Wednesday, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha.

Development was also prohibited on slopes between 15 and 35 degrees displaying signs of erosion, land instability or laden with sensitive geological materials.

Under the no-development announcement, only infrastructure such as roads, tunnels, bridges, telecommunications and low intensity electricity infrastructure of national interest were allowed to be built on slopes more than 35 degrees — classified under Class IV in the guidelines. The guidelines were synchronised from the Ministry’s Guidelines on Hillside Development on Highland and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s Guidelines on Highland Development.

There are four classes and four levels of height in the new guidelines, said Kong in a press conference.

For Class I — slopes would be less than 15 degrees; Class II — slopes 15 to 25 degrees, Class III — slopes 25 to 35 degrees and Class IV — slopes more than 35 degrees.

The four slopes would be divided into four levels of height — low land (below 150m); hill land (150-300m), highland (300-1,000m) and mountain (more than 1,000m).

“Each development project application must be accompanied by a technical report prepared by a registered engineer. The technical requirements have also been tightened further,” Kong said.

The ministry suggested for more comprehensive guidelines following the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide last year, he said.

“The guidelines would be implemented after a meeting is held with the National Council for Local Government, which would be soon,” he said.

Kong said the Cabinet also decided on Wednesday that it wanted to create an agency under the Works Ministry’s Slope Management Unit to monitor, coordinate and inspect, maintain and regulate development projects on slopes.

He said there were 236 projects between 25 degrees to 35 degrees that were frozen following the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.

“Those that had begun work were allowed to go on, but projects that had not started would be left to the discretion of the local government.”

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/8/14/nation/4517005&sec=nation

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