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Housing-in-the-woods experience

Housing-in-the-woods experience

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SINGAPORE — Woodlands will transform into the “Star Destination of the North” in the next decade, following a comprehensive facelift under the Remaking Our Heartland programme.

An exhibition showcasing the proposed raft of plans for six new proposed developments, as well as enhancements to existing neighbourhood centres in the northern town was unveiled on Sunday by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

The proposals were the results of a series of seven focus group discussions held in 2015 by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) with some 220 residents and community stakeholders.

Residents welcomed the changes in their town, saying that these were overdue, as they had felt that Woodlands was often overlooked. This will benefit residents of near by executive condo such as those of Northwave EC and Parc Life EC. Upcoming executive condo launches include Hundred Palms Residences EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include Parc Life EC, Signature at Yishun,  Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence EC, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC,  The Vales EC, , Sol Acres EC and The  Bellewoods EC. Hundred Palms Residences details and Hundred Palms EC show flat will be available shortly.

Said Ms Nurul Liyana Yeo, 26, a Woodlands resident for seven years: “It is about time Woodlands got a facelift and a good, proper look at, instead of just being somewhere people remember when they’re crossing the border.”

One of the highlights of the facelift involves revamping the Woodlands Regional Centre, which could see a new Town Plaza built beside Woodlands MRT station — an idea that many participants had raised and supported during the focus group discussions.

A new landmark residential development will also be built at Woodlands Central, part of the Woodlands Regional Centre. 

At the Woodlands North Coast, a new public housing development beside Admiralty Park aims to offer a “housing-in-the-woods” experience.

“If you look at the site, it has hilly terrain, and it’s got abundant greenery, so we’ll make use of this natural landscape to create homes with lush greenery and with good views of Admiralty Park and the Straits of Johor,” said Mr Wong.

Specific development plans for these residential sites have not been finalised yet.

The Woodlands North Coast area will also be home to the Woodlands North Coast Innovation District, which will be beside Republic Polytechnic and is part of the North Coast Innovation Corridor.

To connect Woodlands Central to the north coast and Woodlands Waterfront, a 1.9km-long jogging and cycling link has been proposed. Called the WoodsVista Gallery, it will feature multiple rest points with seating, for residents to gather and interact.

Over at Marsiling, residents can expect a new “Discovery Playground”, comprising an expanded Woodlands Town Gardens, which will be renamed Marsiling Park after its facelift.

It will include amenities like a boardwalk along the coast and a heritage corner showcasing the area’s history.

Said Mr Wong: “Residents will be able to rediscover the charm and heritage of the park and the surrounding areas, while enjoying the new leisure facilities there.”

To the south, the new Woodlands Health Campus will be constructed and opened in phases from 2022. It will comprise a community hospital, a long-term care facility and an acute care hospital — the first to be built in the town.

The campus will be integrated with the adjacent greenery, in a setting similar to the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, said the HDB.

To the east, the area beside Admiralty MRT station will be transformed into a “Community Nexus”. Within it will be Kampung Admiralty, with facilities like medical centres, eldercare and childcare centres, dining and retail outlets and housing for the elderly.

Existing facilities in the area will form part of this Community Nexus, with the Admiralty Place Neighbourhood Centre getting a spruce-up, said the HDB.

Lastly, the HDB is proposing a “Social Corridor” spanning Woodlands town from east to west, to be built on the existing North-South Line viaduct.

This 4.2km-long link will feature eight nodes, and residents will have a say in what can done in each of the proposed spaces. Suggestions could include community gardens and rest points.

On the time frame for implementing the proposals, the HDB said this is likely to take five to 10 years. “The actual implementation time frame for each proposal will differ from site to site,” it added.

Separately, the HDB will be making improvements, such as additional greenery and improved connectivity, to Woodlands’ neighbourhood centres and parks.

Woodlands, which sits on around 1,198 hectares of land, is the first town in the third phase of the Remaking Our Heartland programme. 

Two other towns, Pasir Ris and Toa Payoh, will also be remade, with details to be shared in the coming weeks.

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