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Temple builder told to stick to guidelines

The company which is developing the Sengkang temple with columbarium space must adhere strictly to guidelines which apply to sites set aside for places of worship, the Housing Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday.

It must preserve "the intent of the site as a Chinese temple", they said in a joint statement, and only up to 20 per cent of the total gross floor area can be set aside for ancillary columbarium use.

Eternal Pure Land, a private company developing the site, has also affirmed to the HDB its commitment to run "a Chinese temple to serve the community", the statement added.

Eternal Pure Land is owned by Life Corp, listed on the Australian stock exchange. Life Corp is the parent company of Singapore Funeral Services.

UPSET

Some would-be residents of Fernvale Lea were upset that the temple will be built close to their Build-To-Order flats, and some have even asked for a refund.

HDB and URA said steps will be taken to ensure that the temple integrates well with the surrounding developments.

According to the guidelines, columbarium space in places of worship or clan associations must be located inside the main building, out of sight from the surrounding developments, preferably in the basement. If it has to be located above ground, it should be screened from public view.

Other residential estates where places of worship have columbarium facilities include Fo Guang Shan Chinese Temple at Punggol Walk, Seu Teck Sean Tong Temple at Toa Payoh Lorong 6, and the Church of the St Mary of the Angels at Bukit Batok East Avenue 6.

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