- POSTED: 09 Sep 2013 06:40
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Residents of Sengkang, Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun can look forward to having new eating houses in their respective towns this year.
SINGAPORE: Residents of Sengkang, Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun can look forward to having new eating houses in their respective towns this year.
Of the 30 new eating houses that will be built across 11 towns by 2015, six are expected to be completed by the end of this year - three in Sengkang, and one each in Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun - and another 17 are expected to come on stream next year.
Although most of these eating houses will be sited near new public housing developments in young and middle-age towns, including in Punggol, Sembawang, Woodlands and Hougang, "a handful" will also be built in the mature towns of Bukit Merah, Geylang and Queenstown.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) revealed these details following TODAY's request for an update on the status of the 30 new eating houses that the Ministry of National Development (MND) said it would be building, which it hoped would help keep stall rentals in check.
This was in response to a question West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Foo Mee Har had tabled in Parliament last month, on the safeguards the Government was putting in place to moderate potential rental increases for HDB coffee shop tenants.
Ms Foo's question was prompted by reports that a Hougang coffee shop had traded hands at a record price of S$23.8 million.
A little more than a week later, another coffee shop along Tampines Street 91 was also put on sale, with the vendors hoping for offers "in the region of S$10 million to S$12 million".
Residents living near the six new eating houses that will be completed by the end of this year - all located within new public housing projects that are nearing completion - were thrilled with the news.
Some Sembawang Drive residents, who will soon be able to tuck in at Block 463, told of having to live with choosing between hopping on the only bus service (962) to reach eateries in Sun Plaza and walking for 20 minutes to the nearest coffeeshop at Block 511.
The other eatery, a small cafe at Block 483, closes too early for those looking to satiate hunger pangs late at night, residents said.
Retiree, Mr Surendran, who has been living in the area for five years, said: "We're Singaporeans, and sometimes we like to have supper, but the cafe closes too early at 9.30pm."
The situation is similar over at Sengkang, which will have three new eating houses by December.
Those living opposite the new site on Anchorvale Road said they now have to take a 10- to 20-minute walk to a NTUC Foodfare outlet at Block 308 or a foodcourt at Block 303 Anchorvale Link. Others, like property agent Vanny Lim, take a bus to Compass Point. "I eat out almost every day and there are really not many choices around here," the 42-year-old said.
Sengkang West MP Lam Pin Min said he was "excited" about the news of the upcoming eating houses which will "definitely provide more convenience and food options for the residents staying nearby".
Pointing out that it was "unlikely" that the NEA would build a new hawker centre or wet market in Fernvale or Anchorvale because of the existing ones in Sengkang Square and an upcoming mall, he said the new eating houses "will serve as an alternative for such food and beverage amenities".
Mr Liang Eng Hwa, who takes care of Bukit Panjang as MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, said he is expecting three new coffee shops in Bukit Panjang over the next few years.
He added that he is also in talks with the NEA to build another hawker centre in the northern part of the town, on top of one that is located at the junction of Bukit Panjang Road and Pending Road.
Said Mr Liang: "Residents have told me that the hawkers and food centres here are inadequate ... People want somewhere convenient and affordable to eat."