Cheryl Ong | The Straits Times | Thursday, Jun 20, 2013

THE developer of an executive condominium (EC) project that was previously told to halt the sale of units has been given the green light now.

In response to a Straits Times query yesterday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said that conditions had been changed for Hao Yuan Investment’s housing developer’s licence to allow it to sell units at its Forestville EC in Woodlands.

“When we amended the licence for Hao Yuan earlier, a condition was imposed to prohibit the sale of any units in Forestville without Controller of Housing’s (COH) prior approval,” said URA.

In December last year, Hao Yuan launched the 653-unit condominium after changes it had made to the project’s development plans were not approved, despite instructions from the COH not to proceed. Conditions in Hao Yuan’s housing developer’s licence for Forestville were subsequently changed such that it had to close its show-flat and stop all marketing activities.

The URA added: “COH is now satisfied that necessary approvals for the project’s development plans have been given and that the plans in the sales brochures are in accordance with these approved plans.”

The Straits Times understands that Hao Yuan had proposed adjustments to the private enclosed spaces of certain units at the condominium.

The Housing Board also confirmed yesterday that the measures announced in January affecting the sales of dual-key units and private enclosed spaces at ECs would not apply to Forestville, which has a number of such units.

Under the new rules, sales of new dual-key EC units will be restricted to multi-generational families, and private enclosed spaces and private roof terraces will be treated as gross floor area.

“Hao Yuan Investment had obtained provisional permission from URA before the policy changes, and is not subject to the new measures,” said HDB.

Following the URA announcement, Hao Yuan apologised for “any inconvenience caused to all potential buyers of the project” in a statement.

The developer added that all applicants who had made an expression of interest in December will be invited to book their units from June 22 to 24.

A total of 1,201 applications were received by the developer before it stopped the sale.

During the launch, visitors who flocked to the show-flat were not granted an Option-to-Purchase, even after they had balloted for a unit. After the show-flat was closed, potential buyers were left uncertain if they would still get their desired unit and if the layout would change.

Some applicants who were initially interested in Forestville flocked to the Twin Fountains EC located next to Forestville. The project is jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint and Lum Chang.

Forestville will be open for public sale on June 28, said Hao Yuan.