SINGAPORE: Three new housing areas will be launched over the next few years, offering 40,000 new homes in all. They are Punggol Matilda, Tampines North and the new centrally-located estate of Bidadari.
Homebuyers will be able to apply for units as soon as September -- when some 500 units at Punggol Matilda are launched by the HDB.
From waterfront living at Punggol Matilda, to a boulevard park at Tampines North, and preserving the heritage and greenery at Bidadari -- these plans were unveiled by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the HDB's "Future Homes, Better Lives" Exhibition.
Mr Khaw said: "The plans for Bidadari, Tampines North, and Punggol Matilda, will capitalise on their individual distinctive character so that they can all achieve a unique identity and provide a unique living experience.
"The planners of HDB have carefully built on each estate's history, distinctive local flavour and features. As we rapidly expand our building programme to create new precincts in new towns, my instruction to HDB is to seize every opportunity of building new precincts, to build on our strong foundation, so as to advance our social mission. Every new town must be better than the previous one."
Punggol Matilda, which is about one-tenth the size of Toa Payoh town, and will be a waterfront home to about 28,000 residents with 8,000 flats.
One of seven distinct districts in Punggol new town, Punggol Matilda will take inspiration from the historic Matilda House in its area -- this will be reflected in a new housing form that will be offered.
The district will also pilot a new "landscaped deck" housing concept -- where centralised amenities are built on elevated decks, with car park facilities underneath. The HDB said this will allow more generous building-to-building space and give residents "door-step" accessibility to precinct amenities located on the landscaped deck.
The second new area is Tampines North -- an extension of the existing Tampines town.
Taking after the town's shape as a leaf, it will see a boulevard linear park serve as the "main vein". With an area of about 240 hectares, it is also about three times the size of Bidadari estate.
The district will house about 21,000 units -- with about 80 per cent being public housing, and the rest private housing. The first public housing units will be launched in the second half of 2014.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated is the Bidadari estate, located in central Singapore.
Once a cemetery, it is now a green space and recreation area for residents around the estate. With a land area of 93 hectares, Bidadari is expected to have 11,000 residential units -- with about 90 per cent set aside for public housing. The first flats will be launched in 2015.
The existing greenery will also be preserved with a new park, and a lake being planned as the green lung for the area.
The Upper Aljunied Road will also be fully pedestrianised.
All the building in the three areas will be about 16 to 17 storeys tall.
Property analysts expect the Bidadari Estate and the Punggol Matilda district in particular, to prove popular with homebuyers.
"Bidadari because it's around the city fringe and also around the Bidadari estates there will be three MRT stations. Another one would be the Punggol Matilda estate, because it has the unique feature of having the pedestrian veranda that can connect the residents all the way to the beach," said Nicholas Mak, Executive Director for Research and Consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants.
Another common feature -- the three new areas will come with cycling paths and pedestrian networks.
Each area will take 10 to 15 years to complete. - CNA/ac
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