PLANS to renew a temporary ban on urban development in Hoora and Gudaibiya has been blocked by councillors.
The Manama Municipal Council's decision comes after three consecutive extensions on the ban were issued, before the Cabinet stepped in and renewed it until December 31.
The ban was initially introduced to restrict the spread of commercial activity and limit the number of expatriates in the areas to restore the towns' traditional identities.
It affects existing municipal permits awarded to those who have not yet started building and those still awaiting approval from the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.
However, it has received mixed reactions as councillors hope to scrap it altogether, while area MP Adel Al Asoomi has been drumming up support to have it extended.
Since the ban was introduced in January last year, the ministry pledged to prepare new zoning plans for the areas, but no solid plans have been presented.
Council acting chairman Mohammed Mansoor was concerned the issue had not been resolved, despite the ban being in place for more than 18 months.
"Will the council propose the ban and the ministry have it approved forever or will a solution be found?" he asked.
"No we can't let things go on like this and it is true that parliament services committee chairman and area MP Adel Al Asoomi has managed to get a fourth extension from the Cabinet until December, but from our side we have no plans to impose any further ban."
Councillors have been the target of insults and absurd behaviour by landlords, who storm into their offices demanding the ban be lifted to allow them to develop their plots.
"We are fed up and can't withstand insulting remarks and absurd behaviour by landlords storming into our offices demanding the ban gets lifted to allow them to develop their plots," added Mr Mansoor.
"It is a temporary ban, meaning it was imposed to solve a temporary problem and in principle allowing landlords to develop their plots is their right and we can't stop them if the classification in the areas allows them to do so."
Meanwhile, Mr Al Asoomi said people in both areas were being engulfed by multi-storey buildings that have no car parks.
"The Manama Municipality exempts landlords from car parks because it would mean that they would lose space from their plots, which could be used to increase their multi-storey buildings," he said.
"Several permits were issued without car parks and for an already messy area, the place has become hectic."
He pledged that calls for the ban's extension would continue until the ministry comes up with proper classification to protect the residents of both towns.
"It is still illogical for the ministry to delay criteria for so long, around two years, and until they do their work in coming up with proper ones I will continue seeking extensions from the Cabinet, despite the council's refusal."