Eastern Portion Of Dover Forest Will Proceed With Housing Development Due To Significant Demand
Last December, it was announced that Dover Forest would be cleared for housing projects. Shortly after, a petition, now with over 50,000 signatures, surfaced appealing for Housing Development Board (HDB) not to go through with the project.
On Friday (30 Jul), HDB announced that only a third of the land on the eastern end will be set aside for public housing in the immediate term. The new housing projects will reportedly be launched in late-2022.
Meanwhile, development plans for the western half will be put on hold and will undergo a review in about 10 years’ time.
11 hectares of land to be developed on eastern end
After a public consultation on the development of Dover Forest, HDB has decided to revise its development plans
In the “immediate term”, only a third, or about 11 hectares, of the land on the eastern half will be used for housing projects.
HDB said this will allow them to meet the rising demand for houses in mature estates, driven by young families wanting to stay closer to their parents.
However, the housing project will include several natural elements as well, including 5 hectares proposed to be used for park and recreational use.
Western part will remain untouched in medium term
The western part, which is much richer in biodiversity, will remain untouched in the “medium term”.
However, there’s still a possibility of the area being developed, depending on Singapore’s land demand in a decade’s time.
HDB is also proposing to establish a Green Corridor along Ulu Pandan Canal to facilitate wildlife movement.
It will connect Clementi Forest to the Southern Ridges and will measure up to 40 metres wide at certain stretches along the canal.
HDB is also proposing to preserve the natural stream as it offers an ideal habitat for aquatic biodiversity.
The board will further attempt to integrate nature with the urban environment through the Biophilic Town Framework.
Dover Forest studied by external environmental consultant
The plans were revised after taking into account public feedback and findings from 2 scientific studies.
The first, commissioned by HDB, found that the western half was home to large trees and threatened species.
Another study by NParks found that it’s possible to establish an ecological connection in the area to enhance connectivity from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to the Southern Ridges.
Striking a balance between nature and mankind
We’re heartened by HDB’s decision to factor in public feedback when developing the area.
While there’s a very real demand for Singapore to develop areas to meet its growing population, it’s also important to consider the environmental impact that it could cause.
We hope the revised plans were able to address the environmental concerns raised while meeting our nation’s housing needs.
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Featured image adapted from Housing Development Board.
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