Draft masterplan on land use likely to detail plans for Woodlands

The draft masterplan detailing land uses and developments in Singapore over the next 10 to 15 years is due to be put up by year-end.

And some property consultants are anticipating more detailed plans for the Woodlands Regional Centre and perhaps the rail corridor, among others.

The masterplan is reviewed every five years with the last revision done in 2008.

In 2008, the masterplan focused on building up three commercial and mixed-use hubs including Jurong Lake District, Kallang Riverside and Paya Lebar Central.

The Jurong Gateway area in particular has undergone rapid development in recent years.

And five years on, analysts say the government is likely to zoom in on Woodlands at the northern part of Singapore.

Chia Siew Chuin, Director, Research & Advisory, Colliers International, said: “The upcoming masterplan would have to take into account how this area would need to synergise with the Iskandar area across the Causeway and especially so with the upcoming proposed rail link between Singapore and Malaysia. So it has to have that synergistic effect with regards to land allocation, land activity or economic activity planning will have to be measured against that. We also want to have a chance to draw economic activities and social interactions…from across the Causeway into Singapore.”

Colliers says the Population White Paper which sets out a planning parameter of a projected 6.9 million population in 2030 is likely to be a key consideration in the upcoming masterplan.

Earlier, the government has said the plans in the White Paper will be reviewed closer to 2020 to decide on the population trajectory for Singapore.

Analysts add that plans for the 26-kilometre long Rail Corridor could also be unveiled.

Since the return of the former railway land to Singapore in July 2011, the project has garnered a lot of interest from the public.

Alice Tan, Associate Director and Head, Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank, said: “There could be some concepts being shared in certain pockets of the rail corridor such as in Tanjong Pagar area, within the future southern waterfront city and potentially at Buona Vista and even perhaps in Woodlands. These three key nodes could be a potential starting point for the planners to share some new ideas for the development of the rail corridor.”

Meanwhile, some property consultants say new towns like Sengkang and Punggol will likely see more commercial development plans now that the population has reached a critical mass.

Donald Han, Managing Director, Chesterton Singapore, said: “Punggol, for instance, is one of the largest townships in Singapore, housing about 92,000 to 95,000 households, so the next component is how do you bring jobs into these huge mega towns. I think you will see some specific areas in introducing it as part of the government sales of sites. There could be some allowance of bringing jobs, commercial (activities) even in some cases, high-tech clean industries into the population in Sengkang and Punggol. As part of the overall programme in the next 10 to 15 years, these new towns (could) be connected as part of the innovation corridor, linking all the way up to the Woodlands Regional Centre.”

Some analysts say the urban planners could potentially re-zone certain areas like Bukit Brown for low density residential use.

In addition, they say areas like Sungei Kadut and Paya Lebar could also see a revision in plot ratio to intensify land use.

Market watchers also expect urban planners to step up development of Kallang Riverside with the impending completion of the new SportsHub.

There could possibly be more details on hotels, offices and waterfront residential developments in the area in order to position the area as a world-class sporting and recreation destination.

Overall, analysts say the upcoming draft masterplan will continue to focus on key objectives such as building communities, enhancing the quality of life and balancing competing land use needs.

Knight Frank adds that there could also be more initiatives to encourage developers to adopt more environmentally-sustainable building practices.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 12 Nov 2013

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