10 private estates to undergo $29 million upgrading over 4 to 5 years

OCT 25, 2019

Michelle Ng

SINGAPORE - Ten private estates in Singapore will get a facelift – from footpath lighting and wheelchair-accessible ramps to better landscaping and parks, as well as estate markers.

The upgrading works will cost $29 million in total, and were announced by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Friday (Oct 25).

Where possible, these works under the Estate Upgrading Programme (EUP) will be integrated with improvement works by other agencies, such as drainage upgrading and coverage by PUB.

The 10 estates to be upgraded are:

Cheng San Cactus Sunrise in Yio Chu Kang

Frankel, off East Coast Road

Fulton, off Sin Ming Avenue

Kew, off Upper East Coast Road

Mei Hwan in Lorong Chuan

Namly in Bukit Timah

Pasir Panjang Private Estate (East)

Thomson Adelphi and Soo Chow, and Pemimpin near Bishan

Watten in Bukit Timah

Westwood in Jurong West

More than 7,000 households will benefit from the improved facilities when upgrading works are completed in about four to five years.

Earlier this month, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced that more than $1 billion will be spent over the next few years to upgrade both private and public housing estates.

The EUP was started in 2000 to develop and upgrade infrastructure in ageing private estates, which do not have access to town council or Housing Board grants. Residents do not have to pay for the upgrading works.

So far, about $187 million has been spent on upgrading 63 private estates, including Serangoon Gardens, Mount Sinai and Braddell Heights, over nine batches.

Mr Christopher de Souza, an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, told The Straits Times that he is setting up a working committee to collect suggestions from residents in Namly estate, some of whom have lived there for more than 50 years.

He said: "We want to collect a variety of ideas and see how we can implement them into physical upgrades. Having covered drains, expanding footpaths and planting shrubs are some things we have to take a look at."

The last upgrading works to Mount Sinai and Greenleaf estates, also in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, set a good precedent to take on board what works well, he added.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Edwin Tong, an MP for Marine Parade GRC, said in a Facebook post on Friday that he is pleased that the repeated applications for upgrading have been approved.

He said that the EUP for Frankel and Siglap estates was first put up in 2010, as "residents have raised various requests for the covering of open drains, widening pedestrian walkways and having more community spaces for activities and other amenities in the estate".

In Mei Hwan estate, which is in Aljunied GRC, residents welcomed the upgrading works.
Business owner Charlotte Hng, 45, who has three children and has been a resident there for more than 20 years, said: "The current playground is a bit boring.

"Maybe they can install more fun equipment like a climbing net? If they want to upgrade, they should go all the way."

Retiree Lim Bee Hua, 65, who has lived in Mei Hwan for 20 years, is keen on covered drains, as she believes open drains attract rats.

Over in Westwood, located in Chua Chu Kang GRC, Mr Lim Hong Ann, 44, a businessman who has lived in the estate for 10 years, said he would like to have a covered walkway leading to the bus stop.

"Our estate is very big. If we can get a sheltered walkway... people won’t have to walk under the hot sun or rain," he said. "Not everyone who lives in a landed house drives a car. Many of us take buses too."