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6,000 HDB flats to be built on prime Keppel Club site, with first BTO launch by 2025: Desmond Lee

SINGAPORE — To meet growing housing demand, around 6,000 government-built flats will be built on the redeveloped waterfront site of Keppel Club, with the first Build-To-Order project at the site to be launched by 2025.

6,000 HDB flats to be built on prime Keppel Club site, with first BTO launch by 2025: Desmond Lee

An aerial view of Keppel Club's site, with the development boundary marked out in red.

  • To meet growing housing demand, the Government will build 6,000 HDB flats on the existing Keppel Club golf site
  • The first Build-to-Order project there will be launched by 2025
  • The new developments will form part of the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront
  • The Government has done an ecological study of the site and its surrounding areas
  • The new housing development will feature new parks and is close to the city centre

SINGAPORE — To meet growing housing demand, around 6,000 government-built flats will be built on the redeveloped waterfront site of Keppel Club, with the first Build-To-Order project at the site to be launched by 2025.

The new public housing estate will be designed to be car-lite and feature high-rise greenery and landscaped terraces, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said in a media briefing on Tuesday (April 12).

As the 48-hectare Keppel Club site is located near important nature areas, the Government has studied the ecology of the development site and its surrounding areas so that its redevelopment will not directly impact areas of high conservation value, Mr Lee added.

An environmental impact study has been released on the website of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) for the public to provide feedback.

Environmental impact study put up for public review

National Development Minister Desmond Lee said that the Keppel Club site is a brownfield site, meaning that the land was previously developed, but it sits close to important nature areas such as the Labrador Nature Reserve, the Southern Ridges and Berlayer Creek.

As such, the Government conducted an environmental impact study of the site and its surroundings, which total 77.8 hectares, to ensure that development plans are sensitive to the surrounding terrestrial and coastal environments, Mr Lee said.

The study, done in 2020, found that these areas contained more than 390 plant and 380 fauna species.

Most of them were found in three areas of high conservation value — Bukit Chermin, the mangrove forest next to Berlayer Creek, and the seagrass meadows and rocky shore habitats near the southern tip of the development site.

Bukit Chermin, for instance, had several conservation-significant flora species such as the critically endangered Syzygium claviflorum tree and endangered Symplocos adenophylla shrub.

The mangrove forest also served as a connection between terrestrial and marine habitats.

Following the study, the Government planned the developments at the Keppel Club site to avoid any direct impact on the surrounding areas of high conservation value.

All the development work will be confined within the brownfield site, Mr Lee said. 

He also said that a broader island-wide study launched last February, called the Ecological Profiling Exercise, also showed that the Keppel Club site served as an important ecological connection between mature secondary forests along the Southern Ridges and Labrador Nature Reserve.

The Government will therefore set aside close to 10ha of green spaces as parks and open land within the Keppel Club site to enhance the ecological connectivity of the area.

This amounts to about one-fifth of the site area, or more than 18 football fields, he added.

“These green spaces will form four green fingers through the estate, which will serve both as habitats and connecting pathways for flora and fauna to surrounding nature areas, and as recreational spaces for residents as well.” 

The new green spaces are:

  • The Central Corridor, which will run through the development stretching from Telok Blangah Road in the north, to Berlayer Creek in the south
  • The Berlayer Corridor, which is a 30m wide extension along Berlayer Creek to protect the existing mangrove habitat. It will be part of a new Berlayer Creek Nature Park
  • The Henderson Corridor, which is a linear park along the new road at the eastern boundary of the Keppel Club site 
  • The Northern Corridor, which is a landscaped, linear green area along West Coast Highway and Telok Blangah Road connecting the three other corridors

Mr Lee said that the green spaces will be fine-tuned after a public consultation of the study.

The public may give feedback online.

Collapse to view

The Keppel Club site is bounded by Telok Blangah Road, Berlayer Creek and Bukit Chermin, and it has been earmarked for residential development since 2014.

Plans for the Keppel Club site were first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally in 2019. He had said that about 9,000 private and public housing units will be built there.

Keppel Club is Singapore's oldest golf and social club established in 1904 by British admiral Sir Henry Keppel, who had helped to clear the Straits settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang of pirates in the 1830s, it said on its website.

The new developments on the site would form part of the upcoming 2,000ha Greater Southern Waterfront area, which includes the 30km coastline running from Gardens by the Bay to Pasir Panjang. The public housing projects on the Keppel Club site are the first unveiled for the Greater Southern Waterfront. 

The prime land for the Greater Southern Waterfront will be available for redevelopment after the Port of Singapore Authority moves its terminals in Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Pulau Brani to Tuas by 2027 and Pasir Panjang by 2040.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Desmond Lee said that the Keppel Club site will offer "unique waterfront living, close to nature" since it is close to the coast and green spaces.

"Given its central location and the two MRT stations nearby, we will seek to keep the estate car-lite, and enable residents to get around easily by walking or cycling.”

The site will be redeveloped when the lease for the golf course runs out.

The lease was due to expire on Dec 31 last year but has been extended until June this year to facilitate the club’s move.

The lease for parts of the course, including its clubhouse and access to the golf course at Bukit Chermin, has been extended to March 31, 2023. 

BRINGING HOMES CLOSER TO JOBS

Elaborating on what the new development will offer, Mr Desmond Lee said that the housing estate will feature new parks and open spaces with walking trails that connect to the MRT stations.

The housing developments will also feature high-rise greenery and landscaped terraces so that residents can live in an eco-friendly environment.

"As the site is quite close to the city centre, we will bring homes closer to jobs. This is part of our effort to move towards having more housing options and mixed-use development in our central region.” 

He added that there are also plans to transform the nearby Pasir Panjang Power Station buildings into a “distinctive and vibrant mixed-use district”.

“These developments are part of the longer-term transformation of the Greater Southern Waterfront into a new major gateway and location for urban living along the southern coast for Singaporeans to live, work and enjoy,” Mr Desmond Lee said.

HDB said that Keppel Club site falls within the Greater Southern Waterfront, which is in a prime and central location, but the Ministry of National Development and HDB will “consider a range of factors” such as the project’s attributes and market values in order to decide how the flats will be sold to the public.

The housing agency was responding to TODAY’s queries on whether the public flats will be launched under the Prime Location Public Housing model, which places limits on rental leases as well as a longer minimum occupation period before a flat can be resold, to keep new public housing in such locations affordable for Singaporeans.

“The first public housing parcel at Keppel is slated for launch within the next three years. We will assess the site attributes and we look forward to announcing more details when ready,” HDB added.

Related topics

Keppel Club Greater Southern Waterfront Desmond Lee property public housing Prime Location Public Housing

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