Kingsford Huray gets no-sale licence for Normanton Park project

Kingsford Huray Development has been hit with a no-sale licence for its project at the former Normanton Park site, prohibiting it from selling units before the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) is obtained.

In June, Kingsford Huray was granted approval for a 1,882-unit project on the site, comprising 1,863 apartments and 19 strata terrace houses. But the Controller of Housing (COH) issued a no-sale licence for the project on Jan 15, “as the company had failed to meet the requirements for a sale licence”, said an Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) spokesman in response to queries from The Business Times.

He said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) had found that at the developer’s other project Kingsford Waterbay, some building works such as windows, barriers and common storey shelter “had deviated from requirements under the Building Control Act and Regulations”.

“Feedback received from buyers of Kingsford Hillview Peak, another project by the company, was also taken into consideration,” the spokesman added.

In December 2017, Kingsford Waterbay was issued with an order to stop building works. This was lifted only after rectification works were completed. Separately, in July 2017, Kingsford Huray was fined S$130,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act for repeated safety lapses at its Hillview Peak worksite.

Developers with a no-sale licence can begin construction but cannot sell units off-plan without approval from the COH.

After TOP is obtained, the developer will still need to apply to the COH to convert its licence into a sale licence before units can be sold. A no-sale licence can also be converted before TOP is obtained, if the developer is able to satisfy the criteria to qualify for a sale licence.

In assessing any application for a Housing Developer’s Licence, the COH will consider various factors, including the developer’s track record, said the URA spokesman. “Where necessary, the COH may issue a licence with conditions to ensure that the interests of home buyers are duly protected.”

The no-sale licence for the Normanton Park project, publicly available on the URA’s website, includes conditions such as strict compliance with the Housing Developers (Control & Licensing) Act (Cap. 130) and the Housing Developers Rules.

Another condition is that none of the units may be sold without the COH’s prior approval in writing. Kingsford Huray must also obtain Quality Mark certificates for all units in the housing development, and do so before making any application to the Controller to sell them.

In general, such a requirement is “so that home buyers can be assured that their housing units are constructed and finished to a reasonable standard of quality”, said the spokesman.

Under the Normanton Park project’s no-sale licence, the COH must also be informed within 14 days of any changes to persons holding responsible positions in Kingsford Huray, and any changes to the particulars of the developer and/or the project, as set out in the licence.

In October 2017, Normanton Park was sold to Kingsford Huray for S$830.1 million, in one of Singapore’s biggest en bloc purchases at the time. This came with an estimated S$231.1 million additional payment to top up the lease to 99 years.

Also payable was a fee of about S$283.4 million to redevelop the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.1 based on the maximum permissible gross floor area of about 1.39 million square feet. This translated to a land price of about S$969 per square foot per plot ratio.

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