Tuesday, June 25

Tanjung Aru beach access guaranteed – developer

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KOTA KINABALU: Tanjung Aru Eco Development Sdn Bhd (TAED), the company redeveloping Tanjung Aru into a world class destination, yesterday said that public access to the beach is guaranteed.

It said that that more than 50 percent of Tanjung Aru area will be dedicated to public park, open spaces, walkways, bicycle lanes and others.

“We fully acknowledge that the beachfront of Tanjung Aru belongs to the people of Sabah, and this recreational area will always remain a perpetual heritage to be enjoyed by all generations. As such the public beach is a key component of the development masterplan and it is intended for the new beach not only to be larger but all encompassing,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

It was responding to the recent queries and concerns regarding the project highlighted by Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) concerned about access to the beach.

TAED also confirmed taht Prince Philip Park will be expanded and rejuvenated to bring back its charm for public enjoyment with a much larger increase in acreage. In fact, the park will be double its present size.

An EIA consultant, DHI Water & Environment, has been appointed and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the EIA is in preparation. The TOR will be submitted to the State Environment Protection Department for their review to ascertain whether a normal or a special EIA is required.

“We acknowledge that there have been different versions of the masterplan in circulation, which reflects the fact that the concept is still in its preliminary stages based on the inputs from the local and international consultants in the field of environmental impact, environmental sustainability, hydraulics, water quality, coastal engineering and landscape architects among others.

“Their inputs are shaping the development concept, but the preservation and rejuvenation of the area’s cultural heritage, namely the public beach and Prince Philip Park, has always been a cornerstone of the development concept and there will be no compromise on this,” said the company.

It added that the masterplan has not been finalised as the various consultants have not completed their studies. When the draft final design of the masterplan is completed, it will be displayed and accessible to the public before the next phase of the design works is implemented.

The Board of Directors of TAED, mainly comprising of top civil servants are committed to ensure that the interest of the public will always take precedence for this development.

Concerned groups are calling for a special environmental impact assessment for the proposed massive redevelopment of the scenic Tanjung Aru beach area here.

Among them is SEPA which is also urging the government to speed up the setting up of a project office to enable the public to obtain answers about redevelopment scheme.

Dubbed one of the top spots in this region for sunset watching, the Tanjung Aru redevelopment covering more than 50ha will see half of the area as public space.

The balance would involve the construction of tourism facilities including high-end resorts and a marina that would be built according to stringent environmental standards.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the massive redevelopment scheme called Tanjung Aru Eco Development during the 50th Malaysia Day celebrations at the Prince Philip Park in Tanjung Aru on September 16.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had said that more than half of the 250ha TAED would be dedicated to public spaces.

Musa said TAED’s master plan placed emphasis on community facilities, open spaces, landscaping and was supported by many sustainable environmental features such as all structures needing to comply with Greeen Building Standards.