2010/03/20 Streets – NST Online

PUTRAJAYA: Bukit Gasing residents have a reason to rejoice.

The merit of their application to object Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s decision to approve a development project will be heard by the High Court.

The Federal Court yesterday unanimously dismissed a leave application by Kuala Lumpur City Hall and a developer to appeal against a Court of Appeal decision last year.

Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi said the legal questions framed by the applicants were not novel and of public advantage.

Zaki, who sat with Datuk Seri James Foong and Datuk Md Raus Sharif, also ordered City Hall and Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd to pay the residents RM20,000 each in costs.

In January 2008, 108 residents filed a leave application for judicial review to quash the development order by the Datuk Bandar pertaining to the hillslope development project.

The Datuk Bandar, in an order dated Oct 2, 2007, issued to Gasing Meridian, allowed the developer to carry out earth works and sub-divisions in the area.

The developer is involved in the Sanctuary Ridge Kuala Lumpur City project to build 68 bungalows on a 15.5ha site in Bukit Gasing.

In their application for leave (in the High Court) the residents, represented by Sivarasa Rasiah and Derek Fernandez, claimed that the Datuk Bandar had failed to take into account that they had a right to be given due notice.

The residents added that as rate-payers they must be given a chance to voice their opinions in the decision-making process of planning.

They said that the Datuk Bandar had acted contrary to the policy and intent of the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982.

The High Court granted the residents leave for judicial review in April last year.

The Court of Appeal in November last year, in a majority ruling, dismissed the appeal by the Datuk Bandar and the developer.

Bukit Gasing joint-action committee member Victor Oorjitham said the court would now have an opportunity to hear the substantive application on why the residents objected to the project.

“We have battled in and out of court for more than two years. We now look forward to the hearing in the High Court,” he said. — By V. Anbalagan