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Over 24,000sqm of land to be acquired for Thomson-East Coast 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).

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 over 24,000sqm of land to be acquired by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), about three quarters of it will come from Laguna National Golf & Country Club, an area that still comprises less than 1 per cent of the club’s total land space.

Speaking at a media conference on the TEL yesterday (Aug 15) SLA Director of Land Sales and Acquisition Thong Wai Lin said some acquisition was unavoidable given how Singapore is densely built-up.

“What we try to do is to work very closely with LTA to keep the acquisition to the minimum, by making sure the design of the station, the construction, the alignment itself as well, would ensure acquisition is kept to the most minimal,” she said.

Also to be acquired to make way for Amber Station on the nine-station line are six semi-detached houses along Amber Road and a three-storey apartment block on Tanjong Katong Road.

Eight partial lots will also be acquired, including industrial plots at 3 Changi South St 2 and 10 Changi South St 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.

Mr Bowers also highlighted that playing areas and golfing holes would not be affected by the land acquisition.

In response to TODAY’s queries, JTC Corporation, which would see some of its carpark lots and driveways affected by the land acquisition, said it will work with the LTA and its two lessees to assess the impact and, if necessary, explore alternative arrangements and possible relocation options.

In contrast, affected residents at Amber Road and Tanjong Katong Road reacted with greater furore.

Many were shocked when they heard the news for the first time after SLA and LTA officers served the notices yesterday. Residents have been given 18 months to move out.

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

Mr Hue also felt the 18-month notice period was “too tight“ as he had spent more than five years looking for his current self-designed house. The family has lived there for the last 14 years.

Mrs Chong, who spent S$1m renovating her Amber Road home, said her family expects fair compensation and hopes the authorities will take into consideration the costs of renovations 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 spent more than four decades building up.

“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 owns another three units in the same apartment block, which will be fully acquired to build the line.

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

 

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