URA revises guidelines to reduce number of shoebox units, stem shrinking of private homes

URA revises guidelines to reduce number of shoebox units, stem shrinking of private homes

In a bid to reduce the strain new developments pose on local infrastructure, the authorities have moved to ensure that there will be fewer shoebox units offered in new private non-landed residential buildings outside the Central area. Cheryl Lin reports.

SINGAPORE: In a bid to reduce the strain new developments pose on local infrastructure, the authorities have moved to ensure that there will be fewer shoebox units offered in new private non-landed residential buildings outside the Central area.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revised guidelines for such properties on Wednesday (Oct 17), making several changes that it said also aim to moderate the reduction in home sizes and "safeguard the liveability" of residential estates. It has observed smaller unit sizes in new private housing projects.

The number of shoebox units will decrease due to a revision in formulae used to calculate the maximum permissible number of dwelling units for a non-landed residential development outside the Central Area. 

Previously, the maximum number of dwelling units was derived by dividing the proposed building Gross Floor Area (GFA) by 70 sq m. From Jan 17, it will be derived by dividing the GFA by 85 sq m. 

Nine areas have also been identified where the new developments could pose a strain on local infrastructure: Marine Parade, Joo Chiat-Mountbatten, Telok Kurau-Jalan Eunos, Balestier, Stevens-Chancery, Pasir Panjang, Kovan-How Sun, Shelford and Loyang.

In these areas, the maximum number of dwelling units for all new flats and condominium developments will be determined by the GFA being divided by 100 sq m instead. 

"With the revised guidelines, developers are encouraged to provide a wide range of unit sizes which will cater to the diverse needs of all segments of the market, including larger families," said Ms Goh Chin Chin, URA’s group director for development control.

REVISED GUIDELINES FOR PRIVATE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SPACES

URA also changed the rules governing the development of private outdoor spaces, saying it observed that some buildings have "excessively large balconies".

The authority added that the revised guidelines will provide homebuyers with more choices of units with and without balconies. 

Developers will also be required to inform homebuyers of the allowable balcony screens at the point of purchase. URA said that it has received feedback from homeowners that they were unsure about the type of screens allowed for their balconies, and the revised guideline is to improve communication between developers and homeowners.

These guidelines will take effect from Jan 17.

URA also introduced a new scheme to encourage developers to provide residents with indoor recreation spaces. It allows developers to apply for communal indoor recreation spaces to be counted as bonus Gross Floor Area. 

This scheme takes effect immediately.

Source: CNA/ic(ra)

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