GEORGE TOWN, May 19 — The Tanjung City Marina redevelopment project developer, MPDT Capital Berhad, has said the main structures and footprint of the heritage godowns at the site were intact, after it was issued a stop work order for illegally removing the roofs of the buildings.
MPDT Capital executive Nik Mohd Ezrin Nik Zamri said the contractor had removed the roofs of the godowns without being instructed to do so but did not do more.
“After we found out that they had removed the roofs, the conservator and architect have ordered them to stop work immediately and all works were stopped right after Hari Raya holidays,” he said in a statement today.
Yesterday, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) issued a statement that MPDT Capital was notified over the illegal removal of the roofs from the category two heritage buildings.
The city council has also issued a stop-work order to the company on May 13 after the contractor removed the roofs from two heritage godowns at the project site.
Nik Mohd Ezrin stressed that MPDT is aware of the requirements and guidelines pertaining to heritage buildings within the Unesco world heritage site.
“We will need an engineer to assess the damage to the two godowns and ascertain what needs to be repaired or restored,” he said.
He said the structures were not demolished and its footprint was not altered.
“While we do not want to complicate this issue, we have not received have notice from MBPP but we have already stopped work once we found out the contractor had removed the roof, walls and door of the structures,” he said.
He said at this time, they are currently conducting cleaning works at the godowns.
He said MPDT has already spent RM5 million to restore the concrete deck structure at the development site.
He said MPDT understood that approvals for the project, which was named MPDT Tanjung City - 1880 Heritage Reborn, could take longer than other projects due to its location within the heritage zone.
“We have always adhered to all guidelines and rulings, even before we put up the perimeter hoardings, we waited till be obtain approval from MBPP on December 1 in 2021 before we put it up,” he said.
MPDT had submitted an application for planning approval on November 2021 to build a new structure for a flight simulator centre and to renovate the site for the tenant, Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd, which was to build a new exit point and to increase the floorspace for the existing building.
However, the application was withdrawn after discussions between the MPDT architect and the MBPP heritage department, causing the plan to build a new structure to be scrapped.
“Recently, the development concept for MPDT Tanjung City is clearer, for us to develop a food destination tourism area so we presented new plans to the MBPP heritage department,” he said.
However, he said the Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman then demanded answers for the lack of visible progress in the project.
He said PPC had pressured them to speed up the project so MPDT had submitted a building renovation plan on April 25 this year and after receiving further instructions from MBPP, had submitted the physical plans to MBPP on May 17.
“We have been advised that the SOPs in restoring a heritage building by our conservation architect, that all components removed must be labelled and restored, we have instructed out contractor to do so,” he said.
He said MPDT will strive to respect all heritage guidelines imposed by the MBPP and will ensure it adheres to all requirements set.