SINGAPORE – Plans for a new housing estate to be built in Choa Chu Kang have been changed to accommodate at least 2ha of existing greenery, following an environmental study and public feedback.
Green spaces were not planned in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) 2019 masterplan for the site of 21.7ha, which comprises the woodland of about 15ha, Pang Sua Canal which occupies about 5ha, and a heavy vehicle park.
In a written report published last Wednesday (July 6), HDB said the greenery to be kept is along the existing Pang Sua Canal.
Healthy, mature tree clusters will also be retained, said HDB.
It added that the original alignment of the Rail Corridor, which runs through the area in the western part of Singapore, will be kept as much as possible.
Following the return of land occupied by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu railway line in 2011, the Pang Sua Woodland plot was identified as a land parcel along the Rail Corridor that was suitable for development.
Between 2020 and 2022, HDB, with the support of URA and the National Parks Board, engaged stakeholders such as nature and heritage groups on its plans for the site.
HDB also commissioned an environmental study of the site in 2021.
The study report was published for feedback from April 5 to May 3. It said that the woodland could facilitate fauna dispersal among various green spaces – forested areas in nearby Mandai and Bukit Gombak, as well as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat further away.
HDB said last Wednesday that it received 151 responses, and that all feedback and suggestions submitted were reviewed.
Many supported conserving at least some of the woodland, said HDB, which added that respondents had highlighted that the site is an ecological connection between surrounding areas.
The board said that those who wanted a new housing development in the area hoped for a balance to be struck between development needs, greenery and heritage considerations.
Addressing suggestions that alternative land parcels be developed, HDB said some are already planned for future development, including housing, while others have existing uses and are not available for development in the near-term.