30-ha forest to be cleared for new neighbourhood at Teacher's Estate

Olivia Siong, Channel NewsAsia 25 Sep 16;

SINGAPORE: To make way for a new neighbourhood in the Teacher's Estate area, clearing work has begun at a large part of a 30-hectare secondary forest just off Yio Chu Kang Road.

Bound by Tagore Road, Upper Thomson Road, Munshi Abdullah Avenue and Yio Chu Kang Road, land preparation work will take about five years.

Currently, low hoarding of about three metres high has been put up and this could be extended to nine metres to shield residents from the dust and noise.

The area will eventually comprise a variety of private homes which are set to be developed over the next 10 to 15 years. This was made known in the 2014 Master Plan and will allow the new neighbourhood access to the upcoming Lentor MRT station which is set to be completed in 2020, as part of the new Thomson-East Coast Line.

The hoarding is also part of a wildlife management plan, to shepherd animals to nearby green areas before the land is cleared.

The Nature Society had previously said several nationally and globally threatened animals have been spotted in the site including the young banded leaf monkey, sunda pangolin and the sunda slow loris.

Authorities, however, hope that by closing off sections progressively, animals will be guided to a forested area in the north, or through an underground tunnel or drain culvert, to the nature reserve or the new Thomson nature park in the west.

Two vegetated areas near Munshi Abdullah Walk will also be kept for at least five years, as they are not affected by immediate work.

Updates on land preparation work and details about the new park were shared with residents by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and NParks at a dialogue this evening.

The new 50-hectare nature park is bound by Upper Thomson Road and Old Upper Thomson Road.

It's set to be completed in the second half of 2018 and currently stands on abandoned agricultural land.

The site also used to be an old Hainanese village in the 1970s and authorities say its traits will be incorporated into the design.

The park is one of four new nature parks which will serve as buffers to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

- CNA/xk

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