Singapore

Opening of Botanic Gardens' extension delayed

More time needed to build Botanic Gardens extension

The opening of an 8ha extension to the Botanic Gardens - initially scheduled for the end of last year - has been pushed back by around 12 months due to construction issues.

The Gallop Extension, which will feature attractions including an arboretum full of endangered rainforest trees, a hiking trail and galleries, was announced in 2015 when a completion date of late 2018 was set.

But the Botanic Gardens director of development, Ms Ng Yuin-Mae, announced yesterday that more time is needed to ensure that the extension and new facilities being constructed are developed sensitively to ensure that wildlife can continue to thrive in the area.

NOISE POLLUTION

Monthly environmental impact studies indicated more time was needed to ensure minimal noise and vibration pollution in the surrounding area, and to protect the area's biodiversity.

A National Parks Board spokesman said additional noise monitoring measures have been put in place near the residential areas bordering the Gallop Extension and adjacent to the Gardens' ecologically sensitive habitats.

The extension to the 160-year-old Gardens - Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site - will bring its total area to 82ha, its biggest size to date.

Complete plans for the extension were also revealed yesterday at a launch event for the Gardens' 160th anniversary celebrations, which will tie in with Singapore's bicentennial year.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, presented six Heritage Tree plaques to donors who made donations of $1 million and above to the Gardens' efforts, in areas such as conservation and citizen science.

The donors were the Como Foundation, HPL Hotels and Resorts, Keppel Corporation, Mingxin Foundation, OCBC Bank and Mr Tan Jiew Hoe.

Mr Wong observed an exhibition showcasing the highlights of the Gallop Extension, comprising an arboretum that will hold a collection of 200 to 300 species of the dipterocarp - an ecologically endangered tropical rainforest tree - and a 200m-long canopy linkway over Tyersall Avenue, among others.

The exhibition showcasing the features of the Gallop Extension is open to the public at the Botany Centre.

Environment