Apr 15, 2011

The Singapore government will boost housing in line with the population growth, and plans to expand towns like Sengkang, Choa Chu Kang, Yishun and Punggol over the next 45 to 50 years, said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan at the URA Corporate Plan Seminar 2011.

“Our current towns will be redeveloped and expanded to provide affordable and good quality housing in popular areas like Punggol, Sengkang, Yishun and Choa Chu Kang,” he said. “Beyond the medium term, we will also open up new towns in areas such as Tengah.”

Aside from ensuring more housing supply in the Central and the West regions, the government is also bringing jobs closer to homes by having more equal job-to-worker distribution across the island.

“Under Concept Plan 2011, we will inject more housing in the Central Region and the West Region, where currently there are proportionately more jobs than homes. At the same time, we will put more commercial and industrial activities in the North and North-East, where there are currently more homes than jobs,” said Mr. Mah.

“Re-balancing the job-worker distribution will not resolve all our traffic issues but it will take some stress off our transport networks and reduce commuting times.”

The Concept Plan 2011 will chart plans for land use and infrastructure development in the country over the next 40 to 50 years. It will be officially unveiled in the fourth quarter of this year.

“It is fundamentally about people and how we can plan for a better life for all Singaporeans,” he said.

Mr. Mah also revealed plans to develop more housing around transport nodes, so that more people will benefit from direct access to public transportation.

“In the next decade and beyond, we can inject more than 10,000 dwelling units in vacant land around MRT stations such as Commonwealth, Queenstown, and Bishan. These would be higher-rise housing of more than 30 storeys.”

“Higher density housing can bring greater economies of scale, and support the development of more amenities in close proximity to homes,” he said. “As we build up our towns, we will expand our transport infrastructure, especially our rail network.”

Some analysts said that the government is planning to increase the plot ratios for residential site in the Central regions and near MRT stations.

Tan Tiong Cheng, Chairman of Knight Frank, said, “In towns such as Punggol, Sengkang and in the West, there is still quite a bit of land left for development, but around MRT stations and in the Central regions, residential plot ratios are likely to go up.”

In addition, the government is also planning to take charge of the development of various facilities for its ageing population, such as housing, healthcare and social facilities at the national level.

“Our population will not only be bigger but also older. There will be a significantly larger population of seniors in the decades ahead,” said Mr. Mah.

“We will study what additional facilities are needed and which are the best places to site them such that seniors can be well supported to live independent and active lives, and continue to be an integral part of their community.”

The Minister also said the government is continually expanding leisure options and greenery to provide relief.

“Gardens by the Bay, our green lung in the city, will be a new and exciting national park. Singaporeans young and old will be delighted by the upcoming River Safari, an extension to our much-loved Mandai Zoo.”

“Nature lovers can also look forward to the extension of our park connector network. When the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk are completed next year, it will link the Southern Ridges to the Southern Waterfront, which will be transformed into a new leisure hub in the longer term,” said Mr. Mah.

Info courtesy - PropertyGuru