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A Stroll Along Singapore's North Coast

19 March 2007

URA's plan to develop Woodlands waterfront will give residents another
recreational getaway

Leong Wee Keat

SUN, surf and turf. That is the enticement awaiting Singaporeans living in
the north.

And the wait may not be too long for residents of Sembawang, Woodlands and
the surrounding area if a proposal to develop a 1.5-km long coastal
promenade and a park the size of 12 football fields takes root.

Leisurely strolls along widened footpaths and picnics in open spaces
fronting the Republic's northern coast could become a reality in three
years following the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) call for
professional consultancy services to develop the waterfront along
Admiralty Road West.

Existing structures along the coast will be redeveloped, discarded state
buildings put to commercial use and an existing jetty enhanced to include
a lookout point.

The URA said in its project brief that construction of the Woodlands
waterfront is scheduled to start in July next year and completed by June

The proposed developments at the Woodlands waterfront were first raised
four years ago as part of a review of the URA Master Plan, which aims to
make the area more attractive and provide an additional recreational
getaway for residents living in the north.

A URA spokesman said the project is "preliminary and by no means

Woodlands residents and Sembawang GRC Members of Parliament welcomed the
plan to develop the waterfront.

Bank administrative officer Cynthia Lim, who lives in nearby Marsiling,
said the coastal park would open up new recreational possibilities for her

"With the new development, my family won't have to travel to Pasir Ris
Park or the East Coast for our picnics," she said. "Water sports could
also increase the fun for us."

About 217,000 residents living in the Woodlands area are currently served
by a number of inland parks.

But MP Hawazi Daipi, chairman of the Sembawang Town Council, said a
coastal park would bring variety and quality recreational facilities to
the north.

"The coastal promenade and park will be a great facility for not only
residents in Marsiling Estate but also for those living in other parts of
Woodlands New Town," he said.

"Residents will have a new and good coastal park to jog or relax in, and
an alternative recreational facility."

Dr Lim Wee Kiak, another MP, added that urban planners could look more
towards the seaside promenades as added recreational facilities for

"Although Sembawang GRC faces the northern straits, we are not using it
fully," he said. "It's such a waste as the environment is quite nice in
the evening."

The URA, however, recognises that the coastal stretch is currently
inaccessible to the public as there are few bus services plying the area.

Besides adding parking facilities along Admiralty Road West, the URA hopes
that accessibility will be improved when the park connector along
Woodlands Centre Road is built by NParks.

The 24.5-ha Admiralty Park, currently under construction, will also
provide a link-way from the Woodlands regional centre, about 1km away from
the waterfront.