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Holland Drive to get 40-storey blocks
22 Apr 05
Area to be redeveloped, but residents left out complain to MP
By Tan Hui Yee
THREE 40-storey blocks are set to rise in Holland Drive as part of a redevelopment plan involving some 800 households near Holland Village.
But home owners in two nearby blocks left out of the redevelopment have complained to their Member of Parliament Lim Swee Say. They are worried that the value of their flats will go down when the new blocks come up and want to be included in the programme.
The redevelopment, announced yesterday by the Housing Board, involves three-, four- and five-room flats as well as shops in blocks 14 to 17, 22 and 23 there. The blocks are about 31 years old.
People living in these blocks will be relocated to the four spanking new high-rise blocks just across Holland Drive, three of which will be 40 storeys high. The project should be complete by 2010.
But residents from blocks 20 and 21 in Holland Drive, just next to where the new 40-storey blocks will be sited, were upset yesterday when they learnt they were being excluded.
More than 100 residents packed an activity room in Buona Vista Community Club last night to ask Mr Lim if he could persuade the Housing Board to reconsider its plans.
Mr Lim later told The Straits Times that he would do his best to convey their concerns and request to the HDB.
One resident, Ms Jacinta Tan, 50, described the moment she was told her block had been excluded: 'It felt like they had dropped a bomb on us.'
The news to redevelop the Holland Drive precinct comes just one month after the HDB announced its plan for a massive redevelopment of the Clementi town centre, which will get a 40-storey complex with a shopping mall, library, town council office and air-conditioned bus interchange linked to the MRT station.
Under the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), old flats are demolished to make way for new ones nearby, in order to maximise land use. The Holland Drive precinct is the 56th that has been identified for redevelopment since the scheme began 10 years ago.
As part of the Holland Drive plan, the current Buona Vista Community Club will be relocated to the site currently occupied by Block 36, where a HDB branch office is located now. The new club will be housed in an integrated complex comprising HDB shops.
The Singapore Sports Council, meanwhile, is looking into a suitable replacement for the Buona Vista Swimming Complex, which will be phased out after 2010.
Eligible home owners affected by the redevelopment plans will be guaranteed new flats nearby at a discount.
The HDB will also compensate home owners and shop owners according to the prevailing market value for their properties.
Homeowner C.S Yee, a 40-year-old manager, welcomed the plan as it would give him a new flat nearby without much of a hassle.
He said: 'I don't want the inconvenience for the two years when my flat is upgraded.'