Singapore

Planned Bayshore estate could have 6,000 HDB flats

12,500 residential units, including HDB flats, slated for construction in East Coast


Home hunters could soon get a shot at new Housing Board flats with coveted seaviews along Singapore's east coast.

Plans are afoot to create a new Bayshore district, which includes 6,000 HDB flats - a huge change for the overwhelmingly private estate located on reclaimed land.

Another 6,500 units will be set aside as private homes.

If they materialise, these Bayshore flats would be the first HDB homes built along the east coast since the old-generation Marine Parade flats constructed in the 1970s - some of which have fetched over $900,000 on the resale market in recent months.

The potential development is detailed in tender documents put up by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and were reported by Lianhe Zaobao yesterday.

The Bayshore district, spanning 60ha, is bound by Bayshore Road, East Coast Parkway, Bedok Camp, and Upper East Coast Road.

The plot is between two MRT stations on the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) - Bayshore and Bedok South - and is expected to have facilities and services such as schools, shops and an integrated transport hub.

The tender will be conducted in two phases, and the appointed firm will submit its final proposal in December, URA said in the documents.

But a URA spokesman told The Straits Times that parts of the area will be used for building the TEL for several years, and that "implementation will not be in the near future".

The two stations are expected to open by 2024.

Rather, the invitation to private sector consultants is meant to generate "new ideas for (Bayshore) to be developed into a future public and private housing precinct that supports car-lite living, with a strong sense of community and environmental sustainability," she added.

"The number of public and private housing units has been projected as 6,000 public units and 6,500 private units, and is still under study."

Some observers,such as consultancy International Property Advisor's chief executive Ku Swee Yong, are concerned that the increase in population would put a strain on transport networks and amenities.

The total of 12,500 residential units translates to 42,375 people, going by Singapore's average household size of 3.39 persons.

"A more acceptable number would be about 1,000 units to keep the idyllic atmosphere of the area, and not pose a problem for Changi General Hospital," he said.

National University of Singapore urban planning expert Steven Choo said a new HDB town with its "thoughtful design and technological advances" could increase the property value of landed property along Upper East Coast Road.

But he wondered if it was also a departure from the Government's announcement in October that it was looking into ways to mitigate the "lottery effect" of public housing in prime locations.

Upper East Coast resident Bryan Lee said the HDB flats would make living near his parents more achievable.

The student, 19, said: "This is a good location, very peaceful and near the park.

"More importantly, I hope to get this place if I get married, so that I can be near my parents."

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