News

Columbarium nearby? Give us refund, say Fernvale folks

Upset about a planned columbarium close to their future flats, some would-be residents of Fernvale Lea have asked the Housing Board for a refund.

This came even after Dr Lam Pin Min, MP for Sengkang West, held a dialogue with residents yesterday. He had assured them there would not be a crematorium or funeral parlour services at the Chinese temple where the columbarium would be housed, The Straits Times reported on its website.

Some residents stood in line to leave their contact details with the HDB after the three-hour dialogue with Dr Lam and representatives from Life Corp, the company developing the temple.

Residents said the HDB should have been more upfront about the temple housing a columbarium.

News of the columbarium, which is expected to be completed by 2016, had surprised many residents when it was reported last week. An online petition to stop the development of the columbarium had collected more than 800 signatures.

Speaking on the sidelines of the dialogue, Dr Lam said the authorities had been upfront. He noted that it was indicated in the Fernvale Lea brochure for the new flats that the temple may include a columbarium allowed under the guidelines of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). "There is really nothing to hide," he added.

Some residents also asked why the Chinese temple is being developed by a private company.

Dr Lam said URA guidelines did not restrict the type of company that can develop a religious institution and he understood from the URA that it had been done before.

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