According to the Draft Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020, the estimated housing stock for Penang State as at year 2005 totals 470,331 units. During the period 1994 – 2005, the Penang state government has approved the construction of about 121,000 units of houses. The report also stated that a total of 185,000 units of houses of various types or at an average of 12,300 units a year will be built until year 2020.
Penang needs to develop 5,000 hectares of land within the next 15 years to cater for development of which 4,500 hectares of the land earmarked for development are located in high potential areas. In order to achieve balance and sustainable development over the next 15 years, there is a need to balance development at the ratio of 30% on the island and 70% on the mainland Seberang Perai.
Penang Island, a relatively small island covering an area of 293 square kilometers with a population of 678, 000 (year 2005), has limited usable lands for development as major part of the Island is under conservation and classified as environmentally sensitive areas ie. hill lands, forest reserves and water catchments areas. The limited usable lands are mainly located along the eastern Island stretching from Tanjong Tokong area to down south Bayan Baru / Sungai Ara area.
Owing to high land cost and limited usable land for development on the Penang Island, reclamation activities at designated coastal areas such as Bayan Baru, Jelutong and Tanjung Tokong will be continued to expand the land bank on the Island. Several man-made islands around Tanjong Tokong and Jelutong coastal areas will also be created via land reclamation. New locational hotspots for potential housing development are situated towards the south-western part of the Island, these areas include Sungai Ara, Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar and Balik Pulau.
In the mainland Seberang Perai, bulk of usable lands for development are centred at Batu Kawan-Jawi area (South Seberang Perai) and Bertam -Kepala Batas (North Seberang Perai) and Seberang Jaya-Permatang Nibong (Central Seberang Perai). Other potential areas as stated in the report include Valdor, Juru and Bukit Minyak.
The future housing trends on the Island will continue to see more high density flatted developments being built whilst piecemeal housing developments will be taking place in new growth areas at the southern part of the Island. More smaller scale but high value niche housing schemes offering new lifestyles, themes and concepts with buzzwords such as super condos, condovillas, gated and guarded communities, waterfront courtyard terraced homes, super-link houses, landed garden villas, supreme and premium bungalows may emerge in prime locations at the suburbs of Georgetown and coastal areas of Bayan Bay, Gurney Drive and Tanjong Tokong. Old settlement areas in prime locations will also be make way for high rise flatted developments whilst in the inner city of Georgetown but within the ambit of heritage conservation zones, any redevelopment will be subject to heritage preservation guidelines.
The mainland Seberang Perai will see the emergence of large scale integrated township developments ie.Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan which is planned to be the third largest township after Bandar Bayan Baru on the Island and Bandar Seberang Jaya in Central Seberang Perai as well as transformation of several other townships such as Bandar Bertam, Bandar Perda dan Bandar Tasek Mutiara. Unlike Penang Island, the future housing trend for mainland Seberang Perai will continue to see more landed properties with features of modern township amenities and services and parks (2 and 3 storey terraced and semi-detached houses and bungalows) being built as landed properties are still the preferred choice.
The future housing trends for Penang Island; more high rise flatted developments and high value niche housing schemes..
Focus on Penang Property and Housing – Part II ( To be continued)