Government studying possibility of selling larger land parcels in Jurong Lake District

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THE government is studying the possibility of putting up larger land parcels in the Jurong Lake District (JLD) for sale within the next few years.

“With that, we can create a critical mass of developments once the High-Speed Rail (HSR) terminus starts its operations,” Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Friday.

The development of the JLD, which will take at least 15 to 20 years, is primed to create 100,000 new jobs and add 20,000 new homes with recreational and leisure options.

It will start with the area around the terminus for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur HSR that will be operational by 2026, Mr Wong said.

He was speaking at the launch of an exhibition to showcase the draft master plan of the JLD, which is positioned to become Singapore’s second Central Business District.

Most of the mixed-use business area in the district will be zoned “white” to allow developers to curate a mix of uses under certain conditions; the regular grid structure will allow the government to sell land parcels of varying sizes more easily.

Other bold plans for JLD include district-level infrastructure and car-lite initiatives such as consolidated underground car parks, and public transit-only streets.

The target is to achieve more than 80 per cent for public transport mode share within the district, compared to the islandwide average of 66 per cent.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said that it is also working with relevant agencies on plans to consolidate goods deliveries coming into the district.

It is mulling the possibility of having a logistics centre located just outside the JLD as part of its aim to reduce freight vehicles traffic in the district by at least 65 per cent during peak hours.

These are among proposals that are put up for public consultation on the district's master plan.

The blueprint for JLD was first unveiled in the 2008 Master Plan when the area was earmarked as a new growth area with two precincts. It will be home to the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High-Speed Rail terminus.

The URA had, in February, a team led by KCAP Architects & Planners as consultant to develop the detailed master plan for JLD.

"Landlords can combine or co-locate non-traditional uses such as schools, community facilities, hotels, MICE facilities, attractions, museums and event spaces for companies and universities to meet and showcase their prototypes, to accommodate the needs of tenants and the market," the URA said.

"The ground floors of the developments will have generous public spaces, courtyards, through-block pedestrian links, and possibly retail and F&B offerings to encourage interaction, networking and participation in activities, creating a vibrant and lively environment in JLD."

A significant amount of road space in JLD will be set aside for public transport, and more space for pedestrians, cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs).

Each development in the district will be near a bus-stop or MRT station with seamless connections; each person will be no more than 400 metres or a five-minute walk from an MRT station or bus-stop.

District-level systems will also be implemented in JLD.

These include common services tunnel, district cooling system, pneumatic waste system and urban logistics management systems. Where possible, these systems will be placed underground to free up above-ground space for people-centric uses.

Some 16 hectares of new parks and open spaces will be added in the district, complementing the existing 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens.

To improve JLD's connectivity to surrounding areas, the government is looking at alleviating traffic on existing roads to Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). It will introduce a new road to the AYE to divert traffic away from roads such as Jurong Town Hall Road.

The draft master plan will be exhibited at the URA Centre Atrium from Aug 25 to 31 and at Westgate from Sept 8 to 17 for members of the public to visit and give their feedback.

Source: Business Times, 28 Aug 2017