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Woodlands will see waterfront development, rail link to JB

Speech by Minister for National Development, Mr Khaw Boon Wan at Sembawang GRC Community Event on 24 February 2013 at 9.30am

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An exhibition on the proposed land use plans for Woodlands Regional Centre, which will see changes to landscape and activities for residents there (Photo: Khaw Boon Wan Facebook page)



Woodlands will be the next “regional centre” planned for further development after Tampines and Jurong.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a speech at a community event on Sunday that when fully developed in about 15 to 20 years, there will be “two distinct precincts” there.

It will have a waterfront area, another MRT line – the Thomson Line – would be opened by 2019, as well as a rail link with Johor Baru, Malaysia.

It is part of a land use master plan by the Government, and a draft of the Master Plan 2013 will be exhibited for public viewing and comments before being finalised sometime in 2014, he said in his speech.

For the Woodlands Regional Centre development, the Government is looking to the public to suggest names for the two precincts, as well as seeking feedback on the proposed plans via theUrban Redevelopment Authority (URA) website.

One of the precincts is tentatively called Woodlands North Coast and includes the area between Republic Polytechnic and the Woodlands Waterfront, with a mix of residential and business use.

The other precinct, with the working name of Woodlands Central, is around the Woodlands MRT station and planned as a commercial centre.



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Woodlands Regional Centre is set to have two distinct precincts in about two decades’ time, now tentatively called Woodlands North Coast and Woodlands Central (Photo: Urban Redevelopment Authority website)



Khaw said: “With 100ha of land available for development, the Woodlands Regional Centre will build on the Causeway Point. But will be many times bigger and more exciting.”

He added: “Connectivity to the city and other parts of Singapore will expand manifold. The Rapid Transit Link with JB (Johor Baru) opens up another platform of cross-border connection, in addition to the Causeway.”

In a report by TODAY newspaper, the minister told reporters that the Woodlands North MRT station, which is part of the upcoming Thomson Line, will be an interchange to the future rail link to Johor Baru.

There are plans to have an immigration clearance facility there, but he said it is unlikely for thehigh-speed rail system between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to be located in Woodlands.

He also gave the assurance that the developments, which would cover an area bigger than the 60ha Gardens by the Bay, would not drive housing prices up.

Khaw said in the TODAY report: “Please don’t worry. As I’ve always maintained – public housing will always be affordable.  I am confident because we are the ones who set the price for new HDB (Housing Board) flats.”

He added: “BTO (Built-To-Order housing) prices will be linked in relation to the median income of the targeted population, so we can always make sure that new BTO prices will be affordable for new families starting up. That is a promise that we can deliver.”

PART OF BIGGER NORTHERN EXPANSION

The Woodlands Regional Centre is part of a bigger expansion to the northern part of Singapore that spans across Sebawang, the future Selatar Regional Centre and Punggol – identified in aLand Use Plan announced earlier.

Called the North Coast Innovation Corridor, there are long-term plans to grow a Seletar Regional Centre to two times that of the Tampines Regional Centre.

There will be a Seletar Aerospace Park, which will provide a range of activities including training, research and development.

Along the Sembawang coastline, new waterfront land will be freed up after the Government phases out existing shipyard facilities. This will provide land for new business activities.

Tampines Regional Centre was launched in 1992 while the Jurong Lake District Master Plan for the Jurong Regional Centre was launched in 2008 with the area expected to be fully developed around 2025.

Khaw said: “One underlying principle behind many of our master plans is to spread out our population and bring jobs closer to homes. This will save travelling time and make it convenient for Singaporeans.”

By http://www.ura.gov.sg/pr/text/2013/pr13-11a.html
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