HDB to extend public consultation period on Dover forest development till Mar. 1, 2021

Singaporeans can now write in to show that they care enough for the Dover forest.

Zhangxin Zheng | February 01, 2021, 02:14 PM

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Housing and Development Board (HDB) will extend the public consultation period for 4 more weeks, the Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in Parliament on Feb. 1.

Environmental baseline study made available online

Lee said that the HDB engaged an external consultant to conduct an environmental baseline study for Dover forest, also known as the Ulu Pandan estate, to guide the agency's development plans and identify the native flora and fauna and their habitats.

The results from the environmental baseline study were then made available online and public feedback was sought.

The development plan at Dover forest has garnered much public attention from environmentalists and residents.

One resident even conducted a survey in the area and started a petition which has since garnered close to 40,000 signatures.

Lee has also visited the forest and held a closed-door dialogue with environmentalists subsequently.

Wide-ranging views from the public

Lee said that the agency has received and continues to receive wide-ranging feedback and suggestions from residents and members of the public.

On one hand, some, including the Nature Society Singapore, have called for the agency to retain the site fully for greenery and recreation. An idea is to turn the Dover forest into a nature-public park.

Others had also proposed to halt all development and stop building HDB flats.

There are also those who urged the government to redevelop other sites such as existing school fields and older housing blocks, while retaining the forest.

Another group proposed to strike a balance between meeting housing needs and conservation. One suggestion is to develop the eastern end of the Dover forest, where the vegetation is less dense, as well as to develop more sensitively by retaining mature trees in the new estate and preserving the water streams.

Public consultation extended

Lee said that the agency welcomes more feedback and they will study them in detail as they consider the development plans for the Ulu Pandan site.

HDB will therefore extend the public consultation for another four weeks.

More detailed plans will be shared after all the feedback received has been considered.

The first round of public consultation ended on Jan. 16.

Members of the public can now give their feedback here.

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Top image adapted from Sydney Cheong's photo