SINGAPORE — As Punggol moves into the next chapter of its development, it could potentially become Singapore’s biggest housing town — twice that of Ang Mo Kio today — and feature the Republic’s newest seafront public housing estate.
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Tuesday outlined several new ideas characterising Punggol Phase II, which will cover developments over the next 15 years and beyond.
"Punggol Town will be big," said Mr Khaw, speaking at the HDB Awards 2012. The number of apartments will increase from the current 26,000 to nearly 100,000.
There will be "distinctive districts, each with a unique character and identity" to give residents a strong sense of attachment to their neighbourhoods, he said. For instance, there will be seven different waterfront housing districts.
Waterway East and Waterway West Districts are currently already under development, while the Northshore and Matilda districts are likely to start development first within the next five years, subject to demand.
The Northshore District, to the north of Punggol Town, will feature Singapore’s newest seafront public housing and Punggol’s tallest residential buildings. The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will explore new building forms for the district.
The Matilda District will be developed along Punggol’s western waterfront, as its landscape and architecture draws inspiration from the rich history of the area.
There will also be "attractive public spaces to encourage community activities", said Mr Khaw, citing a new Punggol Downtown with a new town hub and town square.
And even as Punggol urbanises, there will be "abundant greenery" to soften its high density, assured Mr Khaw.
More green parks and green corridors will be integrated with the waterfront promenades, according to the HDB in a news release. The existing My Waterway@Punggol and the Punggol Waterway Park will be enhanced, with green spaces expanding towards the north.
There will also be green linear corridors for recreational activities such as jogging, cycling and brisk walking. An example is the Old Punggol Road, which will be kept as a linear 1.5km heritage trail.
The HDB said: "Residents can look forward to more recreational spaces and commercial amenities such as a new sports complex, a Horse Riding Centre, and a hawker centre.
"Community interaction will also be enhanced with the upcoming Punggol Town Square and a Community Club where residents can gather and organise local community events."
"These ideas for Punggol underpin the planning philosophy that we are adopting for all HDB towns: make space for greenery, support an active citizenry, create opportunities for residents to mingle and bond, retain social memories and sharpen the character of each HDB town," said Mr Khaw.
"If we execute it well, we can create gems out of our HDB towns," he continued. "Execute it well, we can live very comfortably, despite a higher population density."
One analyst said the new developments will bode well for home owners in the area.
David Poh, director of Propnex, said flats in Punggol have already been doing well in the resale market.
He said: "If the government is putting in more development plans into Punggol —— like seafront housing, more amenities, more facilities, more infrastructure —— I think it will further enhance the value of Punggol flats and I’m sure the prices of Punggol flats will continue to rise."
HDB will hold an exhibition to gather feedback on the development plans from the public.
The first phase of Punggol development began in 1996, with the announcement of the Punggol 21 Vision.
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