More homes to be built in Central and West areas: Mah Bow Tan

More housing will be injected in the Central and West Regions, where there are currently proportionately more jobs than homes, said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan.

Mr Mah was speaking at the URA Corporate Plan Seminar, and was revealing the key thrusts of Concept Plan 2011 that will chart the land use, infrastructure development and vision for Singapore in the next 40 to 50 years.

More homes will be built in popular towns such as Punggol, Sengkang, Yishun and Choa Chu Kang to cater to population growth.

Choa Chu Kang will be progressively developed and expanded starting as early as next year, said Mr Mah.

In tandem, communal facilities like neighbourhood parks and places of worship will also be developed.

Mr Mah said beyond the medium term, new towns and housing areas, such as Tengah will be opened up.

At the same time, more commercial and industrial activities will be injected in the North and North-East, where there are currently more homes than jobs.

Mr Mah said re-balancing the job-worker distribution will take some stress off the transport networks and reduce commuting times.

He said given the limited land supply, there will be higher density housing.

This will be concentrated around transport nodes, so that more people will benefit from direct access to public transportation.

In the next decade and beyond, more than 10,000 homes could be built in vacant land around MRT stations such as Commonwealth, Queenstown, and Bishan.

These would be higher-rise housing of more than 30 storeys.

Leisure options and greenery will also be expanded.

The needs of an ageing population will be taken into account in planning for various facilities such as healthcare, housing and social facilities at the national level.

Mr Mah says his ministry will work with partners to transform the way Singaporeans live, work, play and commute.

He also revealed that a population size of 6.5 million was used as a planning assumption for the Concept Plan.

However, it is not a population target.

Mr Mah said the actual size of the population in 50 years’ time will be determined by many factors, such as Singapore’s economic conditions and pace of job creation, and the fertility rate.

URA will exhibit the draft Concept Plan 2011 and its strategies in the fourth quarter of this year.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 14 Apr 2011

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