Mention Tengah and most people will think of Tengah Air Base. Well, that is hardly surprising as the neighbourhood is relatively free of other large-scale developments. However, all that is set to change!

The government has recently announced plans to develop Tengah into a new HDB town filled with amenities, community gardens and dedicated cycling paths.

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History of Tengah

Tengah is located at the western region of Singapore. It is bound by Choa Chu Kang to the northeast, Jurong to the south, Bukit Batok to the east and the Western Water Catchment area to the west and north.

In the past, Tengah was a rural area with a number of kampong villages such as Kampong Ulu Jurong, Bulim Village and Lam San Village. In the 1980s, the government resettled the villagers into newly built flats in nearby Jurong and Choa Chu Kang before starting construction of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Kranji Expressway (KJE). The improved connectivity helped ramp up the development of Jurong and Choa Chu Kang.

Since 1996, the western part of Tengah has been used a military training zone and hence it is inaccessible to the public. Tengah Air Base is located within the area. Starting from November 2015, military training was gradually moved to Ama Keng Road which freed up the land for other uses.

In September 2018, the government announced plans to develop Tengah into a HDB town. This will make Tengah Singapore’s newest HDB estate as the government has not developed any new towns since the development of Punggol in the 1990s. The first batch of BTO flats in Tengah was launched for sale in November 2018.

Artist’s Impression of Plantation Grove in Tengah

What’s in Tengah

Due to its recent past as a military zone with restricted access to the public, large parts of Tengah are relatively undeveloped. However, that is not to say that those living in Tengah will be surrounded by nothing but trees!

Tengah is fortunate to be near Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Batok and Jurong. Choa Chua Kang and Bukit Batok are well-established housing estates with many amenities and an excellent transport network while Jurong is Singapore’s industrial hub and fast shaping up to be the second CBD.

Tengah is able to enjoy the spillover benefits from being a stone’s throw away from these three neighbourhoods.

Tengah in 10 years

Tengah has lots of land that is ripe for development. In land-scare Singapore, empty plots of land will definitely not stay that way for long!

In September 2018, the government announced their plans for Tengah. The estate is planned to be a “Forest City” with lots of greenery and nature including a new 20-ha Central Park. Development of Tengah will take place over the next two decades. When completed, Tengah will have 42,000 new homes with HDB flats accounting for 70% of the units.

Tengah is divided into five housing districts; each with its own distinct character and identity. The first district is Plantation which will have 10,000 HDB flats when completed. Plantation is located near the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and is at the southern-most end of Tengah. The new housing district will have a 700-m long and 40-m wide farmway weaving through it. Trees with edible fruits such as chiku, guava and jumbo will be planted. About 2,000 sm of the farmway will be set aside for community gardens where residents can plant their own vegetables and fruits. In addition, a forest fringe will surround the edges of the district.

Tengah is planned to be a car-lite town served by two MRT stations along the Jurong Region Line (JRL) and an integrated transport hub. The town will also feature dedicated cycling lanes that will link up with the larger cycling network of Singapore.

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The best word to use when describing Tengah would be potential. While Tengah is relatively undeveloped at the moment, plans are afoot to make the area a “Forest City” filled with nature as well as amenities to support the daily needs of residents.