HDB assures Park Central residents over upcoming BTO project

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has said it will take all measures to minimise inconvenience to residents while building new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats.

Some residents in Ang Mo Kio have said they are upset that the government is launching a BTO project less than 50 metres away from their flat.

HDB said it is not uncommon for HDB blocks or private apartments to be built within 50 metres from one another.

Park Central is a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project in the mature Ang Mo Kio estate.

Most of the residents have only been living there for less than a year.

And some are upset that the government is planning to launch a BTO project less than 50 metres away from their new home.

One of them said: “The block is very close to our block, so our view will be affected. So for me, that is the main concern.”

Another commented: “My concern is (the) resale price…If the BTO selling price is going to be probably lower than ours, then how are we going to sell if we want to sell it in future? Secondly, if I knew that there is a BTO coming up, I wouldn’t have bought this DBSS. My parents are staying nearby. If I know that there is a BTO, I can always wait. I can easily save up S$100,000.”

A third noted: “We need more flats and this is one way that we can have them, so I do not think it is a big thing, as long as proper measures are put in place…they make sure the place is not too dusty and we ourselves, we just close all our doors, we are rarely at home in the day anyway. I lived through my neighbour’s construction and renovations over the past few months, I think another one or two years wouldn’t make a big difference.”

MP for the area, Ang Hin Kee, said he is aware of the residents’ concerns and is sympathetic.

He said he has been in touch with the authorities to see what can be done.

For example, he said HDB has assured residents there will be sufficient carpark space for all current and future residents of the area.

He said: “…I have already received assurance…(about) the carparks. Some are concerned about carparks, that there will not be sufficient carparks – what if there is a new development, it will escalate any parking issues or concerns. So that part, current carparks are adequate, we have installed an electronic parking system at Park Central, so that will actually be able to help manage parking in the development itself.

“Bearing in mind that it is still a HDB public estate, so I think that will mitigate some of the potential parking concerns that others have. And HDB has come out to announce that the new development will have more lots to provide for expected needs, so they are in a way providing that assurance.”

He is also urging authorities to consider innovative solutions to residents’ other concerns, such as those involving space and distance.

He said: “Some of them are engineering issues, some…are design layout issues. I think if it is something that can be explored with a different layout, different engineering solution put into place, we should persuade the agency to look at the best way to do things with minimum disruption.”

Mr Ang said he will be having dialogues with the residents once the authorities are able to provide more details on measures they will be taking to alleviate the concerns.

HDB added that residents can look forward to more common facilities that come with the new development, like a new playground, adult and elderly fitness stations, and even a plaza and amphitheatre.

It added that it will work closely with the local grassroots leaders to address any issues or feedback that existing residents may have, and incorporate suggestions which are feasible and which will benefit the majority.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Aug 2012

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