GEORGE TOWN, 6 March 2009: It will be all or nothing as far as the state government is concerned on the four projects within the heritage core zone and buffer zone that are now under the scrutiny of Unesco.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the recommendations and final decision on the fate of the four buildings would be known in June and if one of the projects had to go, so would the rest.
The four buildings under the spotlight are the Boustead Holdings Sdn Bhd project in Weld Quay and the Rice Miller Hotel project by Asia Global Business in the core zone, while in the buffer zone are the E&O Hotel expansion and Bintang Holdings projects.
All four were approved before Penang was declared a Unesco World Heritage site on 7 July 2008, three by the previous state government and one by the current administration.
Once the listing was made official on 7 July, the dossier submitted to Unesco which contains the 18-metre/five-storey height restriction came into place.
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This article first appeared on 6 March 2009 in The Edge Financial Daily under the title Penang heritage row – all or nothing. Used with permission.