New town to offer more living and recreational options

SINGAPORE — Sprawling over 700ha, the new Tengah estate — which is about the size of Bishan —will not only feature the country’s first car-free town centre, it will also allow residents to get up close with nature.

The masterplan for the newest Housing and Development Board (HDB) town was announced on Thursday by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong at the HDB awards ceremony. Upcoming executive condo launches include Yio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence EC, Choa Chu Kang EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC.

Infrastructure work is scheduled to start early next year. The first batch of HDB flats is expected to be launched from 2018. Estimated to be fully developed over two decades, the town could comprise up to 42,000 new homes, with public housing making up more than 70 per cent of the units.

Plans to redevelop Tengah — which is currently used as a military training area — were first announced during the Committee of Supply debate in April. The Tengah estate, which has been dubbed as the “Forest Town”,  will be about three quarters the size of Punggol.

Tengah will be composed of five housing districts: Plantation, Park, Garden, Brickland and Forest Hill, each to be designed to correspond with a facet of the town’s identity.

For instance, the Plantation District, the first to be built, will have a community farmway running through its housing precincts. It has space dedicated for community gardening and urban farming, and activities such as sales of organic produce may also be held there.

Bound by the Kranji and Pan-Island expressways, Bukit Batok Road and Brickland Road, Tengah has been used as military training ground since villagers there were resettled in the 1980s and 1990s.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, the Ministry of Defence reiterated that it is “supportive of HDB’s development of Tengah New Town”.  “Military training in the area will be adjusted accordingly in line with the HDB’s Masterplan for Tengah,” it added.

The town sits on a key eco-corridor linking the western part of Singapore to nature reserves in the Central Catchment area. HDB’s planners drew inspiration from this and set about creating a town “that would be sensitively integrated with the ecosystems surrounding it”.

HDB said it has conducted environmental, topological and hydrological surveys for the area. “Taking into consideration the surroundings, topography and water courses, the plan is to recreate a forest corridor that runs through the town in an East-West direction,” it said. “Where it makes sense to integrate with the town greenery, we could retain some existing vegetation.”

There will be a 100m-wide, 5km-long Forest Corridor that will form part of the larger network of greenery linking the Western Catchment Area and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. A continuous stretch of lush greenery will also run along the town’s periphery to complement it.

At the heart of the town will lie a new 20ha Central Park, which will include an amphitheatre. The park will be integrated with water bodies to provide a picturesque space for recreation.

In line with the Government’s efforts to get people to cut back on using cars, Tengah will house the first car-free HDB town centre, although this will be put into effect only when the town reaches critical mass.

Roads and vehicles will run beneath the town centre.

Tengah is set to offer more living and recreational options for those working in the 600ha Jurong Innovation District, with its first phase slated for completion around 2022. The district falls partly within the town’s boundaries.

Describing Tengah as a “big step forward” for HDB town planning, HDB Chief Executive Cheong Koon Hean said that the town would “completely transform the western region of Singapore”, complementing the development of Jurong Lake District, touted as Singapore’s second Central Business District.

An exhibition on Tengah will be held from today to Sept 25 at the Sales Display Area on the first level of the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

The public may give their feedback on the town at the exhibition.

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