SINGAPORE — Sembawang residents hoping to dine at their new hawker centre or to cool off at their new swimming pool will have to wait longer as the soft launch of their sports and community hub gets pushed back by a year. This will benefit residents of nearby executive condo such as those from Northwave EC , Brownstone EC, The Visionaire EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences and Parc Life EC .
Last August, Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Lim Wee Kiak said the hawker centre and swimming pool were targeted to be ready by 2018. But speaking to reporters after a community event on Sunday (July 3), fellow Sembawang MP and Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said he hoped to have “some of the facilities” opened by 2019 or 2020.
Quizzed about the delay, Mr Ong said: “I look at the whole project (in) totality — what’s the vision we have? What’s a realistic timeline for these few agencies to work on it?
“A comfortable timeline is 2019. I’d rather give ourselves a bit more time to make sure we do a proper job than to rush in order to deliver something earlier, but doing it wrongly. That’s more important.”
The development of the hub, sited at a 12ha plot of land at Old Nelson Road, opposite Sembawang MRT Station, involves Sport Singapore, the National Parks Board, the Health Ministry and the National Heritage Board, among other agencies.
Upon completion, residents can expect a swimming pool set amid lush greenery, forest trails, a gym, community gardens and an eco-friendly hawker centre, with energy-efficient lighting, water-saving features as well as nursing and diaper changing rooms for young families.
Primary and senior care centres will also be built, offering a suite of services for the young and old. The senior care centre will provide day care and rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
While the details have not been finalised, heritage will be weaved into the design of the hub, with an outdoor heritage corner for residents to learn more about Sembawang’s past.
The development site houses the former Admiralty House, a national monument where the British oversaw Sembawang Naval Base. Over the years, the land has changed hands and is now home to Furen International School. The latest occupants will have to vacate the premises by 2020.
“The starting point is to recognise Sembawang is actually quite a different area within the whole context of Singapore. The town is not fully developed. It’s only half-developed, and plenty of greenery, heritage still remains,” said Mr Ong.
“Our overall approach is to build facilities into the forest area, rather than plant trees around the facilities … It’s important that, here in Sembawang, we have a community space that will retain the heritage and greenery of the area, (and) preserve many of the key features in the terrain.”
Residents will be invited to give feedback on the development through focus group discussions slated for this month or the next.