New hotels cannot be built on non-designated sites: URA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will reject proposals to build new hotels, boarding houses and backpackers’ hostels on sites that are not zoned for hotel use.

In a circular to architects, engineers, developers, owners and tenants sent on Monday, the authority said this takes place with immediate effect.

It said in recent years, it has received more applications for new hotels, boarding houses and backpackers’ hostels on sites that are not zoned for hotel use.

These include proposals to change the type of use a site is zoned for — from commercial to hotel use, for instance.

The authority said accommodation for visitors to Singapore is generally found in commercial areas, but such uses should not dominate and displace other commercial activities.

As such, within the central area, proposals for new visitors’ accommodation, including change of use proposals, will generally not be allowed.

This applies to certain locations in areas like Outram, Rochor, Downtown Core and the Singapore River.

The same applies to places outside the central area.

For hotel, boarding house or backpackers’ hostel proposals in other parts of the central area, the authority will evaluate new proposals individually, considering planning intentions and potential traffic impact.

For existing approved hotels and boarding houses on sites that are zoned for hotel use, any proposed expansion plans will continue to be subject to evaluation.

For existing approved visitors’ accommodation who have temporary permission to use a site for their activities, further renewal of the permission will only be granted to tenants if they have not caused any adverse traffic impact and disamenity to their neighbours.

The authority said the policy will be reviewed in two years’ time.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 7 Jul 2014

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