The eastern half of Ulu Pandan will be developed, with five hectares of greenery set aside for park and recreational use; plans for the western half will be reviewed again in about 10 years’ time. Source: Singapore Geographic
The development plans for Ulu Pandan have been revised following feedback from the public and nature groups as well as findings of environmental studies.
Situated within the mature estate of Queenstown, Ulu Pandan has been set aside for residential development since 2003.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (30 July) revealed that the eastern half of Ulu Pandan will be developed for public housing, “to meet the strong housing demand in mature estates, including from young families who want to live near their parents in the area for better mutual care and support”.
In fact, the first of such projects are set to be launched in the second half of 2022.
HDB noted that the new housing project “will be sensitively designed to weave in greenery and incorporate the blue elements in the area such as the Ulu Pandan Canal and a natural stream”.
HDB added that it is also “proposing to set aside approximately five hectares of greenery on the eastern side of the site and along the canal for park and recreational use”.
“This could comprise a linear park along the Ulu Pandan Canal and a park with natural stream on the eastern side of the site. This would be a five-fold increase from the 0.9 hectares of greenery gazetted in URA’s Master Plan 2019,” it said.
A green corridor of up to 40 metres wide at some stretches, is also proposed along Ulu Pandan Canal, “to serve as an ecological corridor to facilitate wildlife movement”.
HDB also plans to retain “an existing natural stream with a 20-metre wide riparian buffer on both sides of the stream”.
Meanwhile, plans for the development of the western half will be “put off in the medium term and reviewed again in about 10 years’ time”, while a sizeable nature park will be safeguarded.
The park will serve as habitat and ecological connector between the Southern Ridges and Clementi Forest. It will also complement the connectivity along the Rail Corridor within the vicinity of Ulu Pandan.
“Agencies are studying the optimal size and boundary of the nature park, and will subsequently work with the community to carry out forest restoration and habitat enhancement works, to strengthen the area’s ecological resilience,” said HDB.
HDB shared that before development plans for Ulu Pandan were announced in December 2020, an environmental baseline study was conducted to better understand the existing flora and fauna.
The study showed that Ulu Pandan’s western portion is richer in biodiversity, featuring more threatened flora species and a higher concentration of large trees of significance, such as the critically endangered Ficus virens.
The site also serves “as a stepping-stone for wildlife movement to other green spaces”. About 158 species of fauna, including critically endangered ones, were observed at the site.
Upon conclusion of the study, HDB engaged nature groups to help refine the plans for the site, incorporating findings from the study. It also sought feedback from members of the public on the study’s findings.
“The revised conceptual plans also take into consideration the findings from NParks’ Ecological Profiling Exercise (EPE), which showed that an ecological connection could be established in the Clementi-Ulu Pandan area to complement the connectivity from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to the Southern Ridges, through Ulu Pandan,” said HDB.
Dr Shawn Lum, Senior Lecturer at the Nanyang Technological University’s Asian School of the Environment, and President of the Nature Society (Singapore), said the development plans for Ulu Pandan underwent many revisions.
“The planned development at Ulu Pandan has been designed and refined over many iterations and after extensive consultation with academics, nature enthusiasts, and other stakeholders. The development sets new standards for the integration of natural habitats and greenery into a housing development—both public and private—in Singapore.”
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org