I refer to the appended articles, “Dover Forest To Make Way For Residential Development, Netizen Starts Petition To Reconsider Decision” and “Ulu Pandan BTO flats in 2021: Prices + What to Expect“.
It is saddening to hear of yet another green space about to be turned into a concrete jungle – after Clementi Forest recently – given that we have already lost the Tengah Forest to development.
I must remind the Government that these green spaces are considered “Commons” that belong to (and to be enjoyed by) the citizens and subsequent generations.
We do not want them to be cleared to make way for HDB, and then maybe 30-40 years down the road, these HDB flats are SERS-ed and sold to private developers for private housing (effectively turning parks meant for public enjoyment into private condominiums for use by selected few residents), as has happened before – e.g. HDB flats in Sims Drive, blocks 56/57, etc. now becoming private condominiums Penrose and Sims Urban Oasis.
I am sure no one in the Government can definitely confirm the same with the upcoming HDB flats in the Dover and Clementi forests, that eventually turning them into private condominiums will never happen?
We need to be reminded that these HDB lands in Geylang/Sims Drive were compulsorily acquired from private owners back in the 60s/70s for a song in the name of “National Development”. No issue with that for a sacrificial national cause, as my family’s freehold land in Geylang was acquired at less than S$1 per/sf for this purpose.
But if these public parks (like Tengah, Clementi, Dover, etc.) eventually end up being turned into private condominiums (like Penrose or Sims Urban Oasis in Sims Drive, for example) for the enjoyment of only few private residents, then a serious rethink is necessary.
In this regard, perhaps the Government can consider compulsorily acquiring private landed housing at market rates (e.g. those in Districts 9/10/11, where the future Ulu Panda HDB BTO flats will come up in D10 after the Dover forest has been cleared) to be used for public housing, or “mixed land use… building upwards”, as suggested by Professor Tay Kheng Soon, instead of clearing the precious green public spaces?
I understand many areas have low plot ratios of 1:4 due to the surrounding landed housing for “aesthetic reasons”. Does that explain the restriction to only low rise housing near these landed houses?
I think it is high time the owners of “inefficient land use” low rise/low density landed housing do their “national service”. but without the sacrifice of low acquisition compensation suffered by those land owners in the 60s/70s.