Jurong Country Club acquired for High-Speed Rail terminus

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail terminus will be located at the current site of Jurong Country Club, announced the Singapore Land Authority, the Land Transport Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority in a joint news conference on Monday (May 11).

This follows the announcement Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made last week after a bilateral retreat with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak. Mr Lee said then that Singapore will site its terminus in Jurong East.

Some analysts earlier suggested that Jurong Country Club was the most likely location for a terminus.

The authorities said Jurong Country Club will have to hand over its land by November 2016, ahead of its lease expiry in 2035. The site will be comprehensively redeveloped for new mixed-use developments and community facilities to serve Jurong residents, travellers and visitors.

Future developments will include offices, hotels, retail and entertainment facilities, including possible residential development.

Authorities said the Jurong Country Club site is “ideal due to its high connectivity, with close proximity to the existing two MRT lines (East-West and North-South Lines) at Jurong East MRT station, a new MRT line (the Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line) being planned around the area, as well as the future integrated transport hub in Jurong East”.

“The terminus will also be located close to Jurong Gateway, which is already shaping up well as a vibrant mixed-used precinct. Hence the terminus location is compatible with the surrounding land uses and well-supported by infrastructure and amenities,” added the three authorities.

The terminus will occupy about 20 per cent of the 67 hectare site while the rest will be reserved for the mixed development. Most of the High-Speed rail line will be underground.

The High Speed Rail, described as a “game changer” by leaders from both Singapore and Malaysia, aims to cut down travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes. The target for completion which was initially 2020, has been pushed back due to the complexity and scale of the project.

Leaders will decide on a new timeframe for when the train will start running, at the end of the year.

CLUB NOT GIVEN NEW SITE FOR GOLF COURSE

When fully developed, the entire Jurong East site, including the lake districts, the Jurong East Gateway – billed to be Singapore’s second Central Business District, and the site for the new terminus will occupy an area of about 360 hectares – about the size of the current Marina Bay area in downtown Singapore.

The Singapore Land Authority gazetted the acquisition of the affected land on Monday morning. It said it will work closely with the management of Jurong Country Club and help it with the acquisition process.

The club will not be give a new site for a golf course, but authorities said they will work with the club to identify other possible sites for social purposes.

Founded in 1975, the Jurong Country Club began as a nine-hole golf course before further development into an 18-hole course. In 2012, it completed a redevelopment project to remodel the golf course at a cost of S$24 million, and the remodelled course was re-opened to members in Jul 10 of that year.

The Government has been reclaiming land from golf courses for redevelopment. In February last year, the two golf clubs – Keppel Club and Marina Bay Golf Club – were told that they would not have their leases renewed when they expire. Three others – Tanah Merah Country Club, National Service Resort and Country Club and Singapore Island Country Club – will have their leases extended but they will be giving up part of the land they now occupy.

Keppel Club’s lease expires Dec 31, 2021, and Marina Bay Golf Course’s lease expires Jul 13, 2024.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 May 2015

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