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Golf course to provide most of land acquired for new line

SINGAPORE — A mix of industrial and residential sites along with parts of a golf course will be acquired by the Government to build the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).

Golf course to provide most of land acquired for new line

A three-storey apartment block in Tanjong Katong will have to make way for Amber Station on the TEL line. Photo: Ernest Chua

SINGAPORE — A mix of industrial and residential sites along with parts of a golf course will be acquired by the Government to build the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).

Of the more than 24,000 sq m of land to be acquired by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), about three-quarters will come from Laguna National Golf and Country Club — the area acquired, however, comprises less than 1 per cent of the club’s total land space.

Speaking at a media conference on the TEL yesterday, SLA director of land sales and acquisition, Ms Thong Wai Lin, said acquisition was unavoidable, given how densely built-up Singapore is. “What we try to do is work very closely with LTA to keep acquisition to a minimum, by making sure the design of the station, construction and alignment would ensure acquisition is kept to the most minimal,” she said.

Also to be acquired to make way for Amber Station on the 31-station line are six semi-detached houses along Amber Road and a three-storey apartment block in Tanjong Katong Road. Eight partial lots will be acquired too, including the industrial plots at 3 Changi South Street 2 and 10 Changi South Street 3, which are managed by JTC Corporation.

Laguna National, which is building a 200-room five-star hotel, welcomed the news. “With one of the stations less than 500m from our front door, our members, future hotel guests and staff will find accessibility and convenience tremendously improved,” said Mr Patrick Bowers, the club’s CEO and managing director.

In contrast, affected residents inAmber Road and Tanjong Katong Road reacted to the news with greater furore. Many were shocked when they heard the news for the first time after notices were served by SLA and LTA officers yesterday. Residents have been given 18 months to move out.

Mr Hue K Y, 64, who has lived along Amber Road with his family of five for the past 14 years, said the announcement was like “dropping a bombshell”. He was upset that the authorities had not consulted residents and wanted to know if they had considered alternative locations for the station, such as a park space behind the row of houses.

Mrs Chong, who has spent S$1 million renovating her Amber Road home, said her family expects fair compensation and hopes the authorities will take into consideration “the costs of renovation, finishings and relocating”.

Mr Sim Chiang Lee, 79, who operates Sin Aik Provision Shop on Tanjong Katong Road, was upset that he would have to give up a business that he had spent more than four decades building. “We probably don’t need an MRT station here. Residents in this area don’t usually travel by MRT anyway,” he said in Mandarin. Mr Sim also owns three units of the apartment block in Tanjong Katong Road that will be fully acquired to build the line.

The SLA will be discussing with landowners on the submission of claims next month and will announce their compensation award in six months.

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