Koi fish tank outside Tampines flat to be removed as HDB rejects appeal to keep it

No structures can be built on common property.

Belmont Lay | April 09, 2019, 02:50 PM

The aesthetically pleasing koi fish tank built into the doorstep of a ground floor Housing Board flat would have to go.

Appeal to HDB failed

This was after the owner failed in his appeal to keep the structure.

HDB said on Tuesday, April 9 that it had rejected the man's appeal.

No alterations allowed

The Tampines Street 41 resident was not aware that he needed permission to make the alteration to the outside area of his flat.

He had added glass panels to the walls around the four steps leading to his ground-floor unit to create the tank.

HDB: Safety concerns

HDB had said in January 2019 that the man could not keep the tank because of safety concerns.

The owner of the HDB flat then worked with the Tampines Town Council on measures to address issues raised by HDB.

He subsequently lodged an appeal.

No building of things on common property

An HDB spokesman told The Straits Times that the "fundamental reason" for turning down the appeal is that fixed installations cannot be on common property.

The spokesman said: "The stairway area outside the unit is common property... Any fixed installations by flat owners have to be confined within the premises of their unit, and not placed on common property."

It is an offence to have unauthorised fixtures on common property under the town council's by-laws.

The town council and the flat owner has been informed of the decision, HDB also said.

HDB flat owner responds

The HDB flat owner said a contractor friend helped him to build the tank about two to three years ago to house the fishes that have grown bigger over the years.

He said visitors have been coming from as far as Jurong and Bukit Batok to view it.

"If I start a petition (to keep the tank), I think people will surely sign it," the owner added.

He also said there was no obstruction to people and the laws should be applied on a case-by-case basis as other units would have broken the laws with plants on the stairs.

Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng previously said he hoped the tank could be retained.



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