$19m waterfront oasis to be built in Woodlands

Come 2010, Woodlands residents can enjoy seafront recreational amenities right at their doorstops.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has unveiled a S$19m design plan to build a coastal promenade and park in their neighbourhood.

Woodlands will certainly live up to its name with URA’s “Woodlands Waterfront” proposal, where more lush greenery, trees and woods will be planted.

A nine-hectare park will be created from vacant land along the coastline, featuring playgrounds, picnic areas and nature trails to cater to different recreational needs.

Right next to the park is a 1.5-kilometre long promenade that will offer unobstructed views of the Johor Straits.

To allow visitors to be closer to the water, an old jetty connected to the park will be refurbished as well.

On why the waterfront idea was mooted, head of the project at URA, Wan Khin Wai, said: “In Woodlands today, you’ll find that this is one of the towns that are located along the coastline. However if you’re inside of it, you can’t appreciate the coastline. So, this project offers residents (the chance) to get to the coastline and have recreational activities there.”

The Woodlands Waterfront proposal is part of URA’s overall vision to raise the standard of living here, said its director for conservation & urban design, Ler Seng Ann.

“Singapore is an island, surrounded by water on all sides. The waterfront is an important asset. So, in the planning of parks and waterbodies plan, we have capitalised on all these so that we can generate recreation space for Singaporeans to enjoy.”

A Woodlands resident, Mrs Chow, is looking forward to the new amenities. “The plan’s very good because so far, we don’t have any of these things around our area. If you want to have this kind of places, we have to travel all the way to the east side.”

Construction of the Woodlands Waterfront will begin by the middle of this year and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2010.

The Woodlands Waterfront is also something Dr Tony Tan, an ex-MP of the area, will definitely look forward to as it was his dream to have it.

“He shared his dream of using the waterfront….bring in water sports, water activities, and let the residents enjoy the waterfront and have a good view of Johor Baru, our closest neighbour. It has been one of his (Dr Tony Tan’s) dreams for Sembawang,” revealed Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who is an MP for Sembawang GRC.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Jan 2008

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