Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents get temporary freeze on new high-density condo project

By Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents today obtained the High Court’s order to temporarily freeze any action by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in relation to a proposed high-density project in their neighbourhood.

Lawyer for the residents, R. Thanasegar, said the High Court’s interim stay will last until February 27 next year when their judicial review application will be heard.

“Today, we appeared before the judge [Datin] Azizah Nawawi for a stay application and she has granted interim stay.

“Basically status quo maintained. DBKL can’t have any meeting in relation to proposed development pending the disposal of the substantive application, which is fixed on February 27, 2018,” he told Malay Mail when contacted after appearing in court today together with co-counsel LS Leonard.

The lawyer explained that the interim stay meant that DBKL will not be able to have meetings to hear or deliberate on the application for the proposed development

“They can’t sit for a meeting. They can’t deliberate an application for proposed development.

“We got confirmation from DBKL lawyers that there is no development order as yet,” he added.

Thanasegar previously told Malay Mail that he had received a letter from DBKL’s lawyers on November 29 confirming that a planning permission has yet to be issued for the project.

Developers must first obtain a planning permission before seeking a development order or approval for their project.

Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents association president Datuk Mohamad Yusof A. Bakar was relieved with the court decision.

“To me, it’s good news. I was informed the development order is not yet issued. The decision I would say, it is very positive. So hopefully the project cannot proceed, that’s what I hope,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

Another view of the hoarded up land, with The Reach condominium seen in the background. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

In May 2017, two Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents, Mohamad Yusof and Lim Cheng Im, filed for judicial review against the Kuala Lumpur mayor.

On July 11, the High Court refused leave to hear the judicial review application. But the decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal on November 8, which meant the case is now back in the courts for a hearing.

According to court documents filed by the Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents and sighted by Malay Mail, the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 had designated their residential area as having a population density of 32 persons per acre and specified the disputed project site as a community centre and open field

The proposed project site outlined in yellow is specified as ‘Rezab Loji Tapisan Najis’ or reserve for sewerage treatment plants in a map obtained by a Taman Tiara Titiwangsa resident from DBKL in the early 2000s.

The plot of land where the proposed condominiums are to be built — Lot PT 9885 — was originally listed as reserve land for a sewerage plant. In 2005, DBKL proposed that this land be used for a community centre and a football field.

The residents said they later discovered on December 16, 2016 that a developer had applied to build two blocks of 52-storey condominiums and one block of 40-storey Rumawip on the land with a total of 1,532 residential units, which would drastically change the population density for Lot PT 9885 from 60 persons per acre to 800 persons per acre.

Rumawip is the Federal Territories Ministry’s affordable housing programme launched in April 2013, with the ministry aiming to provide a total of 80,000 of such units in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan by 2020.

After having written in their objections to DBKL, the Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents were called in by DBKL on February 27 for a public hearing of their objections.

Claiming that DBKL had failed to provide during the February 27 meeting detailed explanation and technical reports on the project such as the traffic impact and social impact assessment, the residents — represented by Mohamad Yusof and Lim — then filed the suit.

In the suit, the residents are seeking for a declaration that the February 27 meeting on the 1,532-unit project was null and void, as well as a prohibition order to stop the KL mayor from taking any further actions or making any decisions in relation to the February 27 meeting.

They also want a stay order on any further action by the KL mayor in relation to the February 27 meeting until the end of the lawsuit.

The Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents’ lawsuit is one of several ongoing lawsuits filed by residents of various neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur against the KL mayor and DBKL over upcoming high-density condominium projects.

A portion of the Road and Drainage Layout Plan dated 2005 where a multi-purpose hall and football field was proposed on the land that is now currently the proposed project site. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa