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‘Long Island’ along East Coast: Residents, property analysts look ahead to potential impact

SINGAPORE — Some residents living near a proposed "Long Island" reclamation site along the south-eastern coast of Singapore are hoping that the charm and tranquillity of the East Coast area would be retained if the authorities decide to proceed with the development.

Beach-goers seen along East Coast Park. The Government is planning to have more reclaimed land along the coastal area in the future.

Beach-goers seen along East Coast Park. The Government is planning to have more reclaimed land along the coastal area in the future.

  • A 15km stretch of reclaimed land along the East Coast is being planned, with housing to be built on it
  • A handful of residents living along the south-eastern coast are hoping that the charm and tranquillity of the area will remain
  • One property analyst estimated that some 10,000 to 15,000 public and private housing units could be built on this proposed "Long Island"
  • Such a development is unlikely to affect property prices in the area for now, property analysts said

SINGAPORE — Some residents living near a proposed "Long Island" reclamation site along the south-eastern coast of Singapore are hoping that the charm and tranquillity of the East Coast area would be retained if the authorities decide to proceed with the development.

Among the long-term plans being reviewed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is 15km of reclaimed land stretching from Marina East to Changi, on which future housing will be built. Property analysts said that these will likely be among the most coveted projects when launched.

Although the reclamation works could happen only several decades from now, one property analyst is already estimating that some 10,000 to 15,000 public and private housing units could be built on Long Island.

They were commenting after URA announced on Monday (June 6) that it was studying a conceptual plan to reclaim the land along the coast to offer protection against floods and rising sea levels.

The development could include creating a new reservoir for the country’s water needs and can be planned for housing as well as leisure and recreation, URA added. 

It was one of several planning concepts and proposals to guide Singapore’s development to guide for the next 50 years, and these are presented at a public exhibition at The URA Centre. 

TODAY approached a handful of residents living along Meyer Road, a short walk away from East Coast Park, and most of them spoke of the appeal of living near the Singapore Strait, offering them sea breeze, quiet surroundings and the clear views of the waterfront.

Mr P Tan, who lives at The Makena condominium, said that being near the beach and the city centre lends a “certain charm” to the area.

“I like that it’s a quiet neighbourhood. So I think that if more houses were to be built in front of us, it might lead to more congestion,” the entrepreneur in his 30s said.

While he understood that the efforts were needed to tackle rising sea levels and flooding, he was concerned about the dust and noise of the development.

“I think the beauty of (living here) is the sea view. So if you build more high-rise buildings and it blocks the view and the wind, then I think the residents here may not be very happy.”

Echoing a similar view, Mr JD Tan, 36, who lives at The Meyerise condominium, said that he would be supportive of the project so long as there are not too many high-rise residential developments.

“If the project is appealing and there are recreational amenities, I think it’s a positive thing,” he said.

On the concerns over rising sea levels, Mr Anupam Bhattacharya, 58, a resident of The Sovereign condominium, said: “In Singapore, there’s not so much land, so you have to be innovative to create dwelling to support a growing population. 

“It’s a good thing, and I’m sure the authorities will think about how to maintain Singapore’s beauty when they do it.”

A lot of it depends on how, where, when and how many units will be built. This place is very open with a lot of empty spaces and greenery. You want that to be maintained.
Mr Anupam Bhattacharya, who lives in The Sovereign condominium

Mr Anupam, who runs a consulting firm, added that over the past decade that he has lived along Meyer Road, he has seen the neighbourhood become denser, with more traffic and more homes being built in the area.

Still, he said of the proposed reclamation plans: “A lot of it depends on how, where, when and how many units will be built. This place is very open with a lot of empty spaces and greenery. You want that to be maintained.”

There is, at present, no concrete time frame for the development. Members of the public are being invited to submit their feedback on the proposals.

It would likely be many years before these units enter the HDB resale market.
Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at property firm PropNex Realty

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty Network, said that the development is unlikely to depress the prices of property in the area because quite a number of them are freehold or have long 999-year leases.

Since Long Island will be done through reclamation, the land will be owned by the Government and the authorities will have certain control over the timing and price of the land sales, he added.

Government land for housing usually comes with 99-year leases.

Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at property firm PropNex Realty, said that homeowners living near the coastline may have more peace of mind knowing that the Long Island project would help protect their homes from rising sea levels.

Separately on Monday, URA unveiled plans showing that new homes could be built in Bayshore, Marina East and Marina South, all of which are near the East Coast area. It did not specify if these would be private or public housing.

Ms Wong said that she does not anticipate this announcement to affect property prices in the East Coast and Marine Parade area in the short term because no other details have been given for these new developments.

She noted that it would likely be many years before these units enter the resale market. 

“While these plans unveiled by URA offer an exciting glimpse into the future, we think current home prices are still influenced largely by demand-and-supply dynamics in the market and economic conditions,” she added.

An illustration showing the Long Island site and a possible concept plan for the Marina East area.

WHAT ANALYSTS SAY

Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research at real estate firm Huttons Asia, who estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 homes could be built on the reclaimed land, said that the area could have a mix of residential homes of low to high densities.

He drew comparisons with the Greater Southern Waterfront development and predicts that any public housing built on Long Island would likewise be sold under the Prime Location Housing Scheme that sets tighter criteria for ownership of new Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats.

“Homes by our limited coastline are always coveted and highly sought after,” he added.

Other property analysts told TODAY that it was premature to estimate how many developments could be built on the island. 

What they would say was that they do not expect any substantial impact on home prices in the East Coast area, at least until more details are released in the URA’s master plan.

Mr Steven Tan, chief executive officer of real estate firm OrangeTee and Tie, said that if the upcoming developments on Long Island are not too high-rise and if there are not too many houses being built, there will likely be little impact on the prices of houses in the East Coast area.

Related topics

Long Island reclamation URA coastal protection rising sea levels housing East Coast

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