By CNA | 04 September 2012 1608 hrs

SINGAPORE

The government is capping the total number of units that can be built on a site for non-landed private residential developments outside the Central Area.

This will take effect from November 4 when new guidelines issued by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) take effect.

The URA says the new guidelines will discourage developers from building new developments consisting mainly of shoebox units outside the Central Area.

For areas which face more severe infrastructure conditions, URA says a more stringent cap on the total number of dwelling units will apply.

These include areas in Kovan and Joo Chiat/Jalan Eunos. A similar cap is already in place in Telok Kurau.

URA says it has adopted a “calibrated” approach that moderates excessive development of shoebox units, while still allowing some smaller housing units to be built.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan described the new guidelines as “measured and moderate”.

Writing on the Ministry’s blog, he said the URA had intervened in a judicious way to address the issue of developments which consist predominantly of shoebox units outside the Central Area.

Mr Khaw had voiced concern about new developments outside of the Central Area that included a large proportion of shoebox units.

He added that many Singaporeans had voiced similar concerns too.

Unlike the Central Area, the suburbs are largely for families. Mr Khaw acknowledged that while there is a need for smaller units, like studio apartments, 2-room flats and shoebox units for the singles, retirees and small families, he said having too many in the same locality cannot be optimal.

He noted that this is not a general industry practice and was confined to a few developments.

With the new URA guidelines, Mr Khaw said that there will still be shoebox units to meet the need of a segment of the population, but there will also be many more larger units, to meet the demand of the other population segments.

Mr Khaw said he is confident this judicious market intervention will again be welcomed by the stakeholders, developers and residents.

– CNA/de