Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yew Tee residents raise concerns over new nursing home

YET another group of residents is unhappy that a nursing home will be built in their neighbourhood.

The Straits Times
February 6, 2013

YET another group of residents is unhappy that a nursing home will be built in their neighbourhood.

In the latest case of the Nimby (not in my backyard) syndrome, residents of a Yew Tee condominium have met their MP to express their concerns.

About 100 Yew Mei Green residents attended the dialogue with Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Gan Kim Yong last Friday, during which staff from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) also outlined what would be done to tackle concerns.

The Yew Tee nursing home is one of 10 to be built islandwide by 2016 to meet the needs of an ageing population. The 0.22ha open space - the size of about half a football field - will tentatively be up for tender later this year.

Last Friday, at least 10 residents stepped up to the microphones to give feedback, from noise pollution during construction to the lack of public transport options in the area.

A resident, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times yesterday that she is worried property prices may also be affected. The 45-year-old woman said: "The nursing home will also worsen traffic and block our view."

Last October, Mr Gan had informed the residents in the condo's 712 units about the nursing home. In the first feedback session on Oct 16, they had proposed other sites for the facility, said an MOH spokesman.

They were mainly concerned about the project's impact on traffic in the area which is served by bus service number 307 that plies Choa Chu Kang North 6, a single-lane road in each direction.

Several responses were presented by MOH and LTA at last Friday's dialogue. The nursing home will now be seven storeys, instead of eight, while the single lane in Choa Chu Kang North 6, towards Choa Chu Kang North 5, will be expanded into a dual lane.

Mr Gan, who is also Health Minister, said yesterday in reply to queries from The Straits Times that the consultation process had helped both government agencies and the residents to better understand each other's positions.

"Several residents understandably remain concerned about the impact of the development. We will continue to engage the residents and address their concerns. We also hope to involve the residents in the design and construction phases of this project," he added.

A similar row cropped up last February when Woodlands residents petitioned against the setting up of an eldercare centre in a void deck, concerned that they would lose their communal space. Last May, a group of Bishan East residents petitioned against the building of a nursing home there.

But some Yew Mei Green residents welcome the nursing home. Said Ms Pauline Lee, a freelance trainer in her mid-40s: "We're all going to grow old one day so we need nursing homes." Her neighbour Christopher Chong, 18, agreed. "If you need to take care of your parents, you should have a place to do that," said the Nanyang Polytechnic student.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)

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