The effect of the planning system on housing development : a study of developers behaviour in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, Malaysia
This thesis examines the effect of the Malaysian planning system on housing development. It focuses on the developers' behaviour in two areas with different planning regimes, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. The thesis attempts to explore the interactions of developers with government policies, rules and regulation imposed by the local planning authority in each area. The structure and agency model is used as the main methodological approach to explain the behavioural aspects of developers' activity, in particular looking at the developers' response towards planning controls. A combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches is used to analyse information from the survey and the interviews. The quantitative analysis provides the broad context of the study and identifies the differences between the two areas. The emphasis on the qualitative approach provides the research with richer, more insightful findings which could not be revealed quantitatively. Even though developers perceive the local planning authority in Johor Bahru to be exercising a stricter planning regime than in Kuala Lumpur, the study reveals that developers in both areas face common problems relating to land availability, planning delays and increasing costs of development. To overcome these problems the developers have employed various strategies, such as land bank, 'rent-seeking' and phasing. The findings reveal that the success of these strategies varies between the two areas which ultimately affect the development of housing in these areas. The problems should be addressed by both the government and the developers in order to ensure the achievement of the housing programme. In addition to the corrective measures by the developers, the approval authority should review the overall procedure, regulations and policies, which have had cost implications. The study suggests the needs for the element of certainty in the planning systems.