SINGAPORE — About 20 per cent of the Farrer Park site will be set aside for sports and recreational uses under plans unveiled on Monday (25 April) to redevelop the area into a public housing estate and maintain its rich sporting heritage.
Some 1,600 new HDB flats will be launched within the next three years, the Housing & Development Board, Sport Singapore, and Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement.
During its heyday, Farrer Park was the springboard for some of the biggest sporting legends in Singapore such as footballer Quah Kim Song, swimmer Ang Peng Siong and sprinter C Kunalan. It has served as a training ground for many national athletes since the 1950s, with its cluster of sports facilities such as a track and field stadium, swimming complex, boxing gym, tennis centre, and open field.
In recognition of the area’s sporting pedigree, sports and recreational spaces will be developed or retained within the new housing estate.
About 1.2-hectare central green space comprising a field and park will be built. The boxing gym will be retained and converted to a multi-purpose community sporting space. Sports facilities will be incorporated within the multi-storey car park in the estate, with the ground floor configured to be set aside for sporting activities. A jogging track will connect the various sports and recreational facilities in the estate.
At the 2019 draft master plan exhibition, it was mentioned that the Farrer Park Swimming Complex would be retained alongside the former boxing gym.
“However, after further detailed studies, agencies have assessed that it will not be feasible to retain the swimming complex due to various technical considerations,” the statement said. The existing pool would have required a complete overhaul to ensure the quality of the pool facilities and a refurbishment would not be cost-affective, it added.
Instead, a new sports centre at the same location, which will include swimming pools and other sporting facilities, has been proposed by the agencies.
New commercial and social communal facilities in the housing developments, such as precinct shops and a childcare centre, will also be built.
In drawing up the redevelopment plans, the agencies have been engaging various stakeholders, ranging from Friends of Farrer Park (FOFP) to current residents since 2018, the statement said.
“Existing residents in the Farrer Park area also shared that they welcomed plans to redevelop the area…Members of FOFP also hoped that more sporting spaces could be introduced where possible.”
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