Wednesday, August 08, 2012

BTO project too near our flats, say residents

SINGAPORE: The Government's aggressive ramping up of the supply of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats has got at least one group of residents unhappy.

At Ang Mo Kio St 52, some residents of a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project are upset over plans to build a BTO project less than 50 metres from their development.

The new 710-unit BTO project is expected to be launched next month and the concerns of some of the residents at Park Central - who obtained the keys to their homes less than a year ago - include the dust and noise that would be generated, and whether there are sufficient amenities, including car park lots, to cater to another cluster of flats.


The upset residents have voiced their unhappiness on the Facebook page of their Member of Parliament, Mr Ang Hin Kee.

A user, "James Lim", questioned the location of the new BTO project: "The land is fully surrounded by residents and a primary school. How would HDB ensure the cleanliness and safety of the children and residents in the area during construction levelling and piling?"

Describing Ang Mo Kio as "already overcrowded", another user, "Siew Ern", said: "Is there adequate amenities for everyone? Can the transport system cope with the existing community?"
A Park Central resident, Mr Alex Wong, 37, said the residents will be setting up a committee to "try to stop" the building of the BTO project.

The equity dealer pointed out that by building the BTO now, Park Central residents have little choice but to put up with it.

Said Mr Wong: "If they (build) it after five years, after the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), then residents would have a choice to move."

However, another resident, Mr Aruumugam, 43, felt that the situation required some give-and-take. "We will have to live with it as it satisfies a need and the Government is doing it for the people," the operations manager added.

Mr Ang said he is working with the HDB to look into their concerns and come up with alternatives. He assured that he will "make sure that the issues raised are addressed adequately and attended to".

He added: "I empathise with the residents as they have just moved into the estate not long ago and, after all the moving in, renovation and settling (of) teething problems... there's construction again."
However, property analysts were less sympathetic.

Given the scarcity of land here, the residents should be prepared for the vacant land to be utilised for housing.

SLP International head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said: "HDB has a rather packed building programme, so they have to find vacant land somewhere... if there is vacant land near the DBSS project, there is a possibility that the Government could develop HDB flats on (it)."

ERA Key Executive Officer Eugene Lim said: "What is there to complain or be unhappy about?"
He added: "I don't think the lessor will go ask the lessee for permission to build more flats in the vicinity."


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