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Govt to acquire 9 HDB blocks in Marsiling for expansion of Woodlands Checkpoint; residents to move out by Q2 2028

SINGAPORE — The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will acquire nine Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks in Marsiling Crescent and Marsiling Lane, as part of a project to redevelop and extend the existing Woodlands Checkpoint. 

Govt to acquire 9 HDB blocks in Marsiling for expansion of Woodlands Checkpoint; residents to move out by Q2 2028

The redevelopment of Woodlands Checkpoint is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and manage a projected increase in traffic volume between Singapore and Malaysia. 

  • ICA will be redeveloping and extending the existing Woodlands Checkpoint
  • This is to help alleviate traffic congestion and manage a projected increase in traffic volume between Singapore and Malaysia
  • Nine HDB blocks in Marsiling Crescent and Marsiling Lane will be acquired 
  • Residents of these flats will have till Q2 2028 to move out 
  • 1,100 new replacement flats at Woodlands Street 13 will be built for affected residents

SINGAPORE — The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will acquire nine Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks in Marsiling Crescent and Marsiling Lane, as part of a project to redevelop and extend the existing Woodlands Checkpoint. 

Residents living in blocks 210 to 218 at Marsiling Crescent and Marsiling Lane, which includes 732 flats, 53 rental flats, one rental kiosk, six rental shops and one rental eating house, will have till the second quarter of 2028 to move out, said ICA on Thursday (May 26).  

The redevelopment of Woodlands Checkpoint is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and manage a projected increase in traffic volume between Singapore and Malaysia. 

Authorities have projected that traffic volume at the checkpoint will increase by close to 40 per cent by 2050, which would mean a daily average of about 400,000 travellers, more than the pre-pandemic levels of about 300,000 travellers in 2019. 

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Mr Hsu Sin Yun, the deputy commissioner of operations at ICA, said: "The main aim of this extension of Woodlands Checkpoint is to bring the clearance time during peak hours from the 60 minutes pre-Covid to 15 minutes eventually, even considering the increase in traffic that we project coming to the checkpoint."

The expanded checkpoint incorporates greater automation and flexi-lanes, provides adequate holding areas for traffic and facilitates security checks away from the main parts of the checkpoint to minimise security risks. 

"If the overall clearance capacity is not increased, the travel time for vehicular traffic could increase by more than 60 to 70 per cent during peak periods by 2050," said ICA, which had previously announced in 2017 that the extension of the checkpoint would be built at the Old Woodlands Town Centre. 

Mr Hsu explained that the change in plans to further extend the checkpoint came after ICA "delved deeper" and "discovered certain limitations". 

"In the very beginning you have a concept plan, an idea of what you want to do. But you actually have to go down and study the actual terrain, the roads, the heights and whatever’s on the ground. We have to engage engineers, architects and so on and so forth" said Mr Hsu. 

"As we delved deeper, we discovered certain limitations to our original concept, and that’s why we have changed the plans along the way. That is why we are now extending along the eastward side of the checkpoint."

For residents whose flats will be acquired, HDB will build about 1,100 new replacement flats at Woodlands Street 13, so that residents "can continue living in a familiar environment while preserving neighbourly ties", said ICA. 

These new flats are located about a 10-minute walk away from Marsiling MRT station, with Marsiling Mall and Causeway Point easily accessible by bus, added ICA. 

Owners of the sold flats at these locations will be offered the same rehousing benefits as those offered under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), which is aimed at rejuvenating older estates, though HDB clarified that the project does not fall under the Sers programme. 

Nine HDB blocks in Marsiling Crescent and Marsiling Lane will be acquired for the expansion. Replacement flats at Woodlands Street 13 will be built for affected residents.

Among the housing benefits is compensation based on the market value of their flat at the date of the acquisition and the option to purchase a new flat with a fresh 99-year lease at a subsidised price.

Flat owners may also receive a grant of up to S$30,000 and take out a housing loan from HDB for the purchase. 

To help defray the expenses incurred in the move, HDB will also provide flat owners with a removal allowance, as well as stamp and legal fees. 

Eligible flat owners who do not wish to purchase a new flat can choose to sell their existing flats with the rehousing benefits on the open market.

They can then buy a resale flat in their preferred location with the sales proceeds which will include a premium for the rehousing benefits. 

Ms Ng Hwee Yian, the director of projects and redevelopment at HDB, said that new flats will be offered to those affected by the acquisition first and if there are any balance flats, they will be offered to public applicants. 

She added that the authorities will be paying a house visit to every unit in the nine blocks to inform them of the changes, from 12pm on Thursday.  

Construction of the replacement flats will commence in the third quarter of 2023 and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2027. 

The acquisition and subsequent redevelopment and extension of Woodlands Checkpoint will be carried out progressively and "agencies will work to minimise disruption to residents", ICA said.

Mr Hsu added that the extension is a "massive project" that will be done in phases. It is estimated to take 10 to 15 years.

Related topics

Woodlands Checkpoint Immigration and Checkpoints Authority HDB

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