75 heritage buildings gazetted for conservation

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) 2014 Master Plan was gazetted yesterday, along with 75 heritage buildings slated for conservation.

The buildings, which were proposed for conservation under the Draft Master Plan 2013, include the Sri Krishnan Temple, Malabar Mosque, Alexandra Hospital and Queenstown Public Library.

A URA spokesman said: "We have safeguarded land to provide more housing options and amenities in mature and new towns. New housing areas . . . have thus been re-zoned to reflect their future residential uses."

SLP International Property Consultants noted that the zoning and plot ratios of many existing private properties remained unchanged, with the exception of areas highlighted by the URA such as Kampong Bugis.

Instead, many of the residential land parcels whose plot ratios were increased in the 2014 Master Plan were state-owned.

"One possible reason why the government did not increase the plot ratios of most of the private residential properties is to prevent a round of en bloc sales boom, which would increase the upward pressure on private home prices," said SLP International research head Nicholas Mak.

With the gazetting of the 75 buildings yesterday, a total of 7,200 buildings have been conserved in Singapore since URA started its conservation efforts in 1989. The gazetting concludes a year-long review of the Draft Master Plan 2013.

The spokesman said that there were no major changes between the Draft Master Plan 2013 and the gazetted Master Plan 2014.

The Master Plan is a statutory land use plan that charts the physical development of Singapore for the medium term.

Source: Business Times, 7 Jun 2014