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MND: Site currently zoned as ‘residential’

In an email last month to the Pasir Ris residents seeking to save the woodland, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said that the forested area is “not sufficiently unique” to be recommended to be preserved as a park or nature reserve. Nevertheless, there are “no plans to clear” the plot of land until the site is rezoned and awarded to a developer, it said.

In an email last month to the Pasir Ris residents seeking to save the woodland, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said that the forested area is “not sufficiently unique” to be recommended to be preserved as a park or nature reserve. Nevertheless, there are “no plans to clear” the plot of land until the site is rezoned and awarded to a developer, it said.

The MND said that following feedback from the residents, a second — and more detailed — environment survey was conducted and the National Parks Board assessed that the existing nature reserves “generally contain about three or four times the bird diversity, and seven to 10 times the plant diversity as compared to the subject site in Pasir Ris”. It said: “Secondary forests are already represented as an ecosystem within the existing Nature Reserves.”

The contents of the email was put up on the Facebook page of the Pasir Ris Greenbelt Committee, which was formed by a group of Pasir Ris residents seeking to preserve the forested area.

The MND said that the site is currently zoned as “residential” for development. It added: “It will need to be rezoned to ‘Educational Institution’ before a school can be approved at this location. Residents will have an opportunity to express their views to the Minister for National Development on any proposed rezoning for the site, and a panel of persons will be appointed to hear the representation.”

In its response, which was also put up on the Facebook page, the committee claimed that in November last year, representatives from the MND and the Urban Redevelopment Authority had informed the residents that it was confirmed that the international school would be set up in the area but the authorities were unable to release the name or any other details yet. The residents were also given the impression that the MND “is already in discussion with the international school”, the committee claimed.

It also criticised the authorities’ “lack of sincerity” in engaging with the residents and described the invitation to air their views as “nothing short of a formality”.

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