Residents celebrate Farrer Park retaining its sporting heritage
Lawyer Nicholas Narayanan became "emotional" when he learnt about the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) draft Master Plan, which was unveiled on Wednesday last week.
The 46-year-old is part of the "Friends of Farrer Park" group that set up an online petition to retain the area's sporting heritage.
Farrer Park's iconic swimming pool and former boxing gym will be retained to "preserve the sporting heritage of the area and inspire future generations of sportsmen".
"While we understand it is still very much in the planning stage, it is still a positive step forward," said Mr Narayanan, who still lives in Farrer Park, off Dorset Road, and learnt to swim at the Farrer Park Swimming Complex.
It came under the spotlight when The Straits Times reported in March last year that the 9ha plot of land between Dorset Road and Northumberland Road, where the Farrer Park fields sit, was slated for housing redevelopment.
The area includes the currently vacant boxing gym and a swimming complex, which is currently leased to former national swimmer Ang Peng Siong's eponymous swim school.
In response to queries from ST, the URA replied in a joint media statement with national sports agency Sport Singapore that it received feedback that sports facilities in the area should be incorporated as part of the future precinct and that "the pool should continue to be for public use, and the former boxing gym could be adapted for other suitable sports or community usage".
Mr Ang, 56, was pleased to learn about URA's plans, saying: "The Farrer Park spirit is that anybody can go there and play any game they want. It seems there will be options and facilities for people to do sports and stay healthy, and that is the key thing to keeping the sporting heritage of the place alive."