Temple Exclusion Zones Move a Step Closer

DENPASAR

Enforcement of a five-kilometre building exclusion zone around Bali’s major temples – including Uluwatu on the Bukit in Badung where major development has already taken place – has moved a step closer.

Bangli Regent I Made Gianyar said last week he would seek clarification from Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, on behalf of all nine district heads, about the status of the exclusion rule. He said the only thing districts were waiting for was a ruling from the governor.

Regent Gianyar said there had been confusion up to now because decisions about temples’ sanctity in relation to nearby developments had not been accompanied by explanations.

He said earlier challenges from other regents had been due to differences of interpretation and it was this that needed to be sorted out. It was believed violations of the five-kilometre exclusion rule had been authorised because of pressure from developers.

Building permits are issued by regencies, not by the provincial authorities.

Meanwhile Bali’s legislature has urged the provincial government to do more to publicise the new planning rules so that people understand them and they can be enforced.

Legislators said it was particularly important that people understood the five-kilometre building exclusion zone around major temples, a primary focus of the new rules.

Commission I chairman Made Arjaya said it was also important to demonstrate that the new zoning laws – which have to be enforced by district administrations – should not face legal challenge.

Arjaya said the problem was that there were “rogue elements” in the investment community that were trying to exploit public disquiet and thus provoke them to reject the new rules.

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