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6,000 HDB flats to be built on Keppel Club site, first BTO project expected to launch within 3 years

02:27 Min
About 6,000 Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats will be built on the site of Keppel Club, with the first Build-to-Order (BTO) project expected to launch within three years, said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Tuesday (Apr 12). Michelle Teo with more

SINGAPORE: About 6,000 Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats will be built on the site of Keppel Club, with the first Build-to-Order (BTO) project expected to launch within three years, said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Tuesday (Apr 12). 

It was previously announced at the 2019 National Day Rally that about 9,000 new public and private homes will be built on the Keppel Club site. 

Measuring around 48 hectares – about the size of 86 football fields, the area will be redeveloped for housing when the golf club’s lease “runs out”, said the National Development Minister. 

“Being close to the coast as well as green spaces, the Keppel Club site will offer unique waterfront living, close to nature,” Mr Lee added. 

The lease of Keppel Club expired on Dec 31, 2021, said the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in response to queries. 

To facilitate its transition to the Sime public course, Keppel was granted a six-month extension for the existing golf course site at Bukit Chermin Road until Jun 30, and a 9.5-month extension for its existing clubhouse and access until Oct 14. 

"In addition, a further 5.5-month extension till Mar 31, 2023 will be granted to facilitate Keppel's clearance and reinstatement of this site," said SLA in its statement. 

With its central location and the two MRT stations nearby - Labrador Park MRT and Telok Blangah MRT - the ministry will “seek to keep the estate car-lite”, and enable residents to get around easily by walking or cycling. 

“The housing estate will have new parks and open spaces which feature walking trails that connect to the MRT stations. This will provide residents with easy access to transport nodes and new social and commercial facilities,” said Mr Lee. 

The housing developments will feature “skyrise greenery” and “landscaped terraces” to allow residents to “live in an eco-friendly environment”, he added. 

“As the site is quite close to the city centre, we will bring homes closer to jobs. This is part of our effort to move towards having more housing options and mixed-use development in our central region.” 

The Government also plans to transform the nearby Pasir Panjang Power Station buildings into a “distinctive and vibrant mixed-use district characterised by its unique industrial heritage and waterfront”, said Mr Lee. 

HDB said it is mindful of the need to “be sensitive” to the surrounding natural and built environment. 

“The housing developments will feature staggered building heights which will step down towards the green spaces. This will enable residents to enjoy the view of the greenery that is at their doorstep,” it said. 

Future housing developments will see multiple layers of landscaped decks and skyrise greenery to connect residents more closely to nature. 

All the green spaces will also feature walking trails to connect to the Telok Blangah MRT and Labrador Park MRT stations and branch out towards the future residential estates, the fact sheet read. 

“Green roofs on lower rise blocks can also supplement the green spaces to serve as additional habitats for butterflies and smaller urban bird species,” said HDB in the fact sheet. 

In response to queries about whether the Prime Location Public Housing model will be applied to the flats on the Keppel Club site, HDB said that a “range of factors” would need to be considered.

“The current intent is to apply the Prime Location Public Housing model to selected public housing projects in prime and central locations such as the city centre and surrounding areas, including the Greater Southern Waterfront, that have very high market values and would require significant additional subsidies to keep flats affordable,” said HDB in its statement. 

“While the Keppel Club site is within the Greater Southern Waterfront, MND and HDB will consider a range of factors, such as the project’s locational attributes and market values, before deciding whether to apply the PLH model.” 

While the Keppel Club site is a brownfield site, it is close to “important” nature areas including Labrador Nature Reserve, Southern Ridges and Berlayer Creek, which is a coastal habitat, said Mr Lee. 

In urban planning, brownfield refers to previously developed land that is not currently in use. 

Future housing at the Keppel Club site is depicted in peach. (Graphic: NParks)

MND commissioned an environmental impact study covering about 77.8 hectares, to ensure that the development plans are “sensitive to the surrounding terrestrial and coastal environments”, he added. 

In 2019, the ministry also engaged nature groups to scope the study, and shared the findings of the study with them, he said, inviting the public to also share their thoughts and views. 

The report will be available on HDB’s website for a month - Apr 12 to May 11 - for public feedback, said HDB. 

The ministry’s ecological profiling exercise showed that the Keppel Club site serves as an “important ecological connection” between the mature secondary forests along the Southern Ridges and Labrador Nature Reserve, said Mr Lee. 

Within the Keppel Club site, about 10 hectares of green spaces will be set aside as parks and open land, amounting to 20 per cent of the area, or 18 football fields, he added. 

“These green spaces will form four green fingers through the estate, which will serve both as habitats and connecting pathways for flora and fauna to surrounding nature areas, and as recreational spaces for residents as well.”

Source: CNA/aj
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