You Saved Soonstead!soonstead1

Statement by the Penang Heritage Trust

5 September 2014

Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) is delighted by the news that Soonstead’s developers have decided to withdraw their current planning application and amend their design so as not to destroy or demolish any part of this heritage building.

This is a great win for Penang’s heritage. We would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to everyone who signed the PHT petition to save Soonstead on change.org! Thousands of signatures and passionate comments have shown that heritage matters.

We are particularly grateful to YB Chow Kon Yeow for decisively handling this issue after listening to the voices of the petitioners.

PHT appreciates the developer’s cooperation and their willingness to modify their original plan. We hope this dialogue can continue, so that a truly sympathetic solution can be found which will complement the unique Soonstead site and setting and bring long term gains to the developer.

PHT would like to reassert its calls for a comprehensive review of heritage guidelines regarding Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, which is still facing threats from other proposed developments.

We ask MPPP to review its policy and guidelines and renew its commitment to conserve the special character of Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. We also ask for a scrutiny of the inventory, in case other precious heritage buildings like Soonstead have been left out or somehow gone missing from the inventory.

We also ask for urgent attention and action for Runnymede Hotel and Shih Chung School which have been listed since 2013 on the Penang Heritage Trust list as Penang’s 7 Most Important Endangered Sites.

Khoo Salma Nasution
President, Penang Heritage Trust

For the original petition, click here.

Newspaper articles

The Star
Soonstead Won’t Be Torn Down
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/08/31/Soonstead-wont-be-torn-down-Developer-Hotel-plans-will-raise-iconic-mansions-value/

The Malay Mail Online
Penang’s Soonstead saved from demolition
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/penangs-soonstead-mansion-saved-from-demolition

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