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More greenery, space in cluster housing

Source: Straits Times

Oct 17, 2018

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Source: Straits Times, Oct 17, 2018

Thirteen more conserved colonial bungalows at Seletar Aerospace Park are being refurbished for retail, F&B, and office use.

They will join four other bungalows which were renovated as food outlets that opened last year at the park’s food and lifestyle hub, The Oval.

The latest works are expected to be completed next year, and statutory board JTC has launched a request-for-interest for their use.

The move was announced yesterday by JTC, the lead government agency behind the development of Seletar Aerospace Parka 320ha plot of land housing Seletar Airport and a total of 32 conserved colonial bungalows, the remaining 15 of which are currently vacant.

It is also home to more than 60 multinational and local aerospace companies.

JTC said the second phase of The Oval follows positive reception for the first. Footfall at its existing cluster of food outlets – Wheeler’s Estate, The Summerhouse, Youngs Bar and Restaurant, and Di Wei Teochew Restaurant – can hit 3,000 over a weekend.

The Straits Times understands from one operator that his overheads run-up to a six-figure amount, with rent comprising a small fraction of that. He also noted that footfall at his outlet has increased by 80 per cent year on year since it opened in late 2016.

Seletar still houses around 130 other residential colonial bungalows, which are located outside the aerospace park zone.

JTC said that over the next three years, it plans to introduce heritage storyboards and gathering points along the existing Round Island Route of the National Parks Board (NParks) for cyclists and pedestrians which run around the aerospace park.

This leg of the route starts at Rower’s Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park and ends at Piccadilly along Seletar Aerospace Drive.

This will be done in partnership with NParks, the National Heritage Board, and Seletar Hills Estate Residents’ Association (Shera).

JTC is also encouraging industry players and the community to sponsor trees in the area through NParks’ Garden City Fund’s Plant-A-Tree program.

Yesterday, President Halimah Yacob launched the Plant-A-Tree programme thereby planting a flame of the forest tree at Park Lane.

According to NParks, the tree, which produces crimson flowers, has been planted in Seletar since the commencement of the development of the British Royal Air Force base there in the late 1920s.

TC’s director of urban design and architecture Tang Hsiao Ling said: “By striking a balance between economic, social and environmental imperatives, we can develop beautiful, interactive and green estates that are not only attractive destinations for business and talent but also vibrant and inclusive spaces for the community.”

Shera chairman Percival Jeyapal, 76, said he welcomed the new phase. He also encouraged the public to learn more about the area, which the association has researched and written about in its book, Uncovering Seletar.

He said: “It used to be a restricted area. It is slowly transforming into a very welcoming environment where Singaporeans can come and relax. It is good that more people will be able to appreciate the rich history and unique environment that Seletar Aerospace Park offers.”

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