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MND rejects MP's suggestion for visitor fees for HDB sky gardens; Pinnacle@Duxton 'an exception' due to iconic status

SINGAPORE – A suggestion by a Member of Parliament (MP) for sky gardens at public flats to charge a fee for non-resident visitors has been declined by the Ministry of National Development (MND). 

A view from the 47th-floor roof garden of a public housing block at Skyville@Dawson near the Queenstown district.

A view from the 47th-floor roof garden of a public housing block at Skyville@Dawson near the Queenstown district.

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  • MND will not impose entrance fees and limit visitors to HDB sky gardens, MP Sim Ann said
  • This was in response to a suggestion by MP Joan Pereira for sky gardens at public flats to introduce these measures 
  • Ms Pereira said that some members of the public who visit sky gardens behave irresponsibly by creating noise at night, littering and smoking
  • These are inconveniences to residents, she added

SINGAPORE – A suggestion by a Member of Parliament (MP) for sky gardens at public flats to charge a fee for non-resident visitors has been declined by the Ministry of National Development (MND). 

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for National Development, said that current measures to ensure overall peace and cleanliness and amenities at sky gardens are working. She was responding to MP Joan Pereira of Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC). 

Ms Pereira raised concerns that the behaviour of some visitors to sky gardens has inconvenienced residents, especially during peak periods such as the weekends, on eve of festive seasons and on public holidays.

“My residents are well-aware that these are public gardens but they are extremely inconvenienced by the chaos, noise and the rubbish that the crowds would bring," she said.

"There were occasions when the wait time for lifts was very long because many non-residents were using the lifts to visit the sky gardens, and the car park lots were also taken up,” Ms Pereira added.

In response to a query from TODAY, Ms Pereira said she was referring to SkyVille @ Dawson.

My residents are well-aware that these are public gardens but they are extremely inconvenienced by the chaos, noise and the rubbish that the crowds would bring.
Member of Parliament Joan Pereira for Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency

She also said that the many measures to address these problems had incurred extra cleaning costs borne by the town councils, and used up the time and effort of patrol volunteers, which were unsustainable.

This was unlike the situation at a popular Housing and Development Board (HDB) rooftop terrace at The Pinnacle@Duxton, she said, which "is much more orderly".

She added that The Pinnacle@Duxton charges an entrance fee of S$6 to members of the public to access the 50th-storey sky bridge via a turnstile gantry. Visitors to the public sky garden are also limited to only 200 a day.

In her reply, Ms Sim said that The Pinnacle@Duxton was an exception, considering its central location, its iconic status as the tallest HDB residential building in Singapore, and the novelty of the panoramic city views it offers.

Sky gardens are high-rise common spaces at public housing estates that are above 40 storeys. 

They provide a refuge floor for fire protection in such residential blocks, and offer greenery.

They may also have other facilities such as fitness corners and sheltered seating areas.

Even though there are concerns about how some members of the public treat sky gardens as an attraction, Ms Sim said that HDB cannot treat sky gardens as exclusive enclosed spaces.

However, she acknowledged that sky gardens may attract visitors unlike ground-level public spaces at other HDB estates.

This may lead to residents living at HDB blocks with sky gardens to feel inconvenienced if there is crowding at their lifts and surrounding estate, particularly during peak times.

To address this concern, HDB has been working with the town council and the grassroots to signal to visitors that sky gardens are residential amenities and not tourist attractions.

She added that visitors should also control their voice levels and not smoke or litter at the sky gardens.

Other measures that have been introduced include setting up task forces to patrol visitors, especially on Friday and Saturday nights and installing more signages and surveillance cameras.

Increased patrols by the Singapore Police Force and National Environment Agency, targeted at smoking and littering offences, have also been implemented.

Related topics

sky garden public housing MND HDB

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