Feb 26, 2013 - By: iProperty.com Singapore
Ministry of National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan unveiled the preliminary plans for a brand new Woodlands Regional Centre last weekend. The regional centre aims to serve as a major commercial hub in the north and the time expected to bring this plan to fruition would take about 15-20 years.
With 100 hectares of land for development, Woodlands Regional Centre is expected to stretch from the north coast fronting the Strait of Johor to the centre of Woodlands. It encompasses two distinct precincts, with the first being the Woodlands North Coast which covers an area of 70 hectares between Republic Polytechnic and Woodlands Waterfront slated to be developed into a lush waterfront environment with a mix of residential, commercial and lifestyle uses. On the other hand, the other precinct would be Woodlands Central where a 30 hectares area around Woodlands MRT station and Causeway Point mall would be developed into a pedestrian-friendly retail hub.
At present, the proposal is still at a preliminary stage and detailed plans would be unveiled in the later part of the year as part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Draft Master Plan. Typically, it would take about 15-20 years for a centre to mature as time is required to lay out detailed land-use plans, build infrastructure and sell sites.
According to Minister Khaw, he noted that the Woodlands Regional Centre development is in line with the government's prior efforts to spread the population out and bring jobs closer to home. Regional centres, an idea that was announced in 1991, aim to decentralise Singapore to guard against congestion and over-development in the Central Business District and Marina Bay areas. Tampines Regional Centre was the pioneer in 1992, followed by Jurong Regional Centre in 2008.
Firms are expected to provide jobs in the north that complement labour-intensive industries across the Causeway. With the intense development of Iskandar just across the border, more jobs are expected to be created within the northern part of Singapore.
Furthermore, with increased accessibility to the northern part of Singapore via 2 new MRT stations under the Thomson Line, on top of the future North South Expressway that will link Woodlands, Sembawang and Yishun to the city, travel would be made easier.
The Master Plan governs land use in Singapore. The latest version has been in place since 2008 and is due for an update this year. Following consultation and public comments, Master Plan 2013 is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.
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