Residents launch petition over Home United Youth Academy noise
Residents complain of noise from HYFA, even after noise reduction measures are taken
The Home United Youth Football Academy (HYFA) at 10 Mattar Road houses 12 football pitches of varying sizes, a sports performance centre, classrooms and offices.
It has even been touted as a venue that could serve as the sport's national training centre.
But HYFA has earned the ire of some residents living in the adjacent block of flats on Aljunied Road for the noise it generates from football activities.
Despite HYFA's moves to reduce noise, including utilising low-decibel referee whistles and limiting the time and type of activities conducted, at least one resident has sworn to continue to raise the issue until a concrete solution is found.
"There has been some improvement... but the field is so close to the building that even when they talk at a normal volume I can hear what they are saying," said Alan Hoong, who lives in the block closest to HYFA, Block 126.
"They run programmes from 8am to 9pm on Saturday, Sunday and even public holidays - it's frustrating."
The 55-year-old managing director launched a petition that eventually saw HYFA sit down for meetings with residents, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
The petition was signed by five families from the block, with Hoong claiming that there are more who support the cause, but have declined to sign.
He said: "It's like living inside a football stadium. Given a choice, I want them out of there, but I know that's not going to happen."
Launched in 2014, HYFA has six years of a nine-year lease with the SLA left. They are understood to be paying some $34,000 a month in rent.
The facility has been managed by Asia Sports Holdings since July last year.
Confirming that the land it sits on has been designated by the URA for sporting use, Home United Football Club (HUFC) chief executive Azrulnizam Shah revealed that HYFA has taken "concrete measures to reduce noise".
In addition to new whistles and limiting the time of activities and areas of play to pitches away from the block of flats, HYFA also created a hotline for residents so it can quickly respond to concerns should they crop up.
The New Paper understands that the restricted use of their pitches could see HYFA lose as much as $15,000 a month.
"In a meeting, HYFA said that it is running a business there, and it can't (silence the customers). But, to me, HYFA is running this business at my expense," said Hoong.
In response to TNP's queries, the SLA said in a statement that it is monitoring the situation.
It said: "We recognise the different needs of the community and are working with relevant agencies towards a mutually beneficial outcome for HUFC and the residents.
"We are currently monitoring and refining the remedial measures implemented by HUFC while continuing to engage the residents.
"SLA has received HUFC's appeal for a rental reduction and is currently reviewing it."
TNP understands that HYFA has engaged the local community, even offering its facilities for free, and Azrulnizam asserts that they will continue to do so as they search for a comfortable compromise.
He said: "In a space-constrained Singapore, our authorities have been innovative and ingenious in the intelligent use of scarce space shared by all in the community.
"HUFC is very aware and sensitive to the concerns raised by the small minority in the community."
"HUFC will continue to remain engaged to actively monitor the situation through feedback from the residents and introducing measures to quickly address their feedback."
But Hoong insists the measures are not enough.
"It's very frustrating, it has been more than a year since I first wrote to the SLA," he said.
"I've been living here for 20 years, and I will be living here for another 30 more.
"And I guarantee that I'll carry on kicking up a fuss until we find a concrete solution."