New URA guidelines for landed homes to take effect from May

Home owners and developers will soon get to enjoy greater flexibility in configuring the interior space of their landed homes, after the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Feb 11) released a new set of guidelines for landed houses.

The new guidelines will come into effect on May 11 to give the industry sufficient notice of the change, said URA. The guidelines adopt an approach where the interior configuration of a house is determined by a combination of the allowable height of the house, distance from the road and common plot boundaries.

This serves as a three-dimensional limit – within which a landed house can be designed.

Under the new guidelines, the allowable overall height for a two-storey landed house will be 12 metres, down from the existing 14.1 metres. Meanwhile, the allowable overall height for a three-storey landed house will be 15.5 metres, down from the existing 17.7 metres.

However, homeowners will now be able to vary the floor to ceiling height in their home, giving them a mix of spacious and compact spaces. This is a departure from existing rules, where a height restriction is set for each floor. The various storeys in the house can also be layered creatively, even allowing an extra room to be set up in a mezzanine level.

Under the new guidelines, the topmost floor, or the attic, will be limited to 3.5 metres in height and has to be set back from the front and rear of the building facade as defined by a 45 degree line. However, the attic can also be designed without a sloping roof, which is currently a requirement.

The basement will also be allowed to protrude above ground beyond the current one metre limit. This is expected to allow more ventilation and light to the basement space.

In a circular to professional institutes, URA said the new guidelines are a response to changing lifestyle needs, and are formulated with input from landed house owners and professionals from the building industry.

It added the new guidelines will simplify existing rules and provide developers and homeowners more flexibility in the design of landed housing, while also safeguarding the low-rise character of landed housing estates.

The new guidelines had been piloted by URA on a landed housing area in Sembawang Greenvale.


In a blog post on Wednesday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has said the results in the pilot were “positive”.

“The new guidelines should be good news to those who want flexibility in interior design. Owners can ‘layer’ their homes creatively, to bring in natural light and ventilation, and are most likely to benefit those who live in intermediate terraces,” he added.

Once the new guidelines kick in, it will apply to all relevant applications involving new erection or reconstruction of landed housing developments. URA said it can also accept development applications from those who wish to adopt the new guidelines during the three-month grace period.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 Feb 2015

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