SINGAPORE: A mall in Changi, which has remained empty nine months after it was built, is not allowed to have restaurants due to residents' feedback about traffic and parking problems.
CNA reported last Saturday (Sep 12) that the developer of Liv@Changi mall, which was completed in December last year, has struggled to attract tenants due to the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" and planning restrictions imposed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
READ: Hit by circuit breaker and tenant restrictions, new mall in Changi still empty 9 months after it was built
In February, the URA rejected a request by the developer to turn some of the shop units on the first and second floor into restaurants, leading some netizens to question the rationale behind the decision.
"URA conveyed to the developer in 2015 that restaurants, bars, health centres or nightclubs cannot be allowed in the development," the authority told CNA on Tuesday.
"We reiterated the requirement in February 2020 when the developer requested to turn shop units into restaurants. This was in response to local feedback that these uses would exacerbate the traffic and parking problems in the neighbourhood."
The mall developer, Fortune Assets Changi, had rued the decision to prohibit restaurants.
"The planning guidelines restricted certain desired trades, such as cafes and restaurants, which are essential for the mall to draw traffic," said Fortune Assets Changi director Keev Tan previously.
He added that the objective of the mall has been to "provide quality amenities and services" to residents in the area.