URA eases rules for conservation building repairs

OWNERS of conserved buildings will now find it easier, and cheaper, to carry out repairs. From today, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will waive the $1,500 processing fee for applications to carry out works which do not alter the structure or appearance of these buildings.

Processing time has been halved from four to two weeks, since basic repair and maintenance work was recognised as a separate category. It used to fall under Additions and Alterations, which involves more major changes.

This change, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post yesterday, will make it easier for owners to keep conserved buildings in good condition.

It used to be a requirement for building owners and developers to engage a "Qualified Person", such as an architect or engineer for all additions and alterations.

Now, they do not have to do this. By using a new e-service on the authority's website, they can send in their own proposals - a process which takes about 10 minutes. After the work has been done, photos of the completed work have to be submitted to the authority through the same e-platform.

"This will reduce costs and time for all parties," said Mr Khaw.

These tweaks come alongside a slew of other changes to simplify fee structures, including for applications involving major repairs and changes to conserved buildings, all "to help owners take care of their conserved buildings, and preserve the story of Singapore", explained Mr Khaw.

There are more than 7,000 conserved buildings here.

More information on the revisions can be found atwww.ura.gov.sg/uol/circulars/2013/oct/dc13-11.aspx

melodyz@sph.com.sg

Source: Straits Times, 1 Nov 2013