Preserve ecological gem in Bedok

Sunday Times 31 Jul 11;

I was dismayed to learn that the heavily wooded forest that abuts onto the hill at Bedok Reservoir Park will be sliced off for an upcoming low-rise residential development by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Picture the new scenario: a condominium that dominates the landscape, with signposts stating that trespassers will be prosecuted; the din during the construction when one is trying to enjoy nature at the hilltop; and the many giant trees that will be felled, which will destroy the natural habitats of birds and other wildlife.

The hill is a prominent landmark for many joggers and nature lovers. By turning its vicinity into a residential estate, the whole scene will become an eyesore.

We should consider safeguarding as much of the natural environment as possible.

It has taken decades for the trees in the area to grow to such a mature stage, particularly the giant banyan trees. The lush vegetation also serves as a carbon sink and natural air-conditioner.

The National Parks Board could perhaps take over this verdant oasis and make it accessible to the public. This green parcel alongside Bedok Reservoir hill could be conserved as an avian sanctuary and a haven for little creatures.

I hope that URA would listen with a heart and preserve this ecological gem.

Sor Boon Kia

Greenery fast vanishing in Fernvale
Sunday Times 31 Jul 11;

Ten years ago, my husband and I chose our new flat at Fernvale in Sengkang, lured by promises of 'lush greenery'.

However, over the last few years, we have witnessed blocks of new flats sprouting up around us with alarming speed. The promised lush greenery is fast disappearing, and Fernvale is in danger of becoming densely populated.

While I understand that a certain level of population is required to support commercial activities in the area, the Housing Board should revisit its initial blueprint for Fernvale and ensure that the overall concept is maintained, while providing new residential projects.

I hope that in the years to come, I will still be able to enjoy the view of green fields and open skies when I look out of my windows.

Ang Chin Chin (Ms)

Care taken to save trees in Bedok
Sunday Times 7 Aug 11;

We thank Mr Sor Boon Kia for his letter last Sunday ('Preserve ecological gem in Bedok').

We recognise the importance of keeping our green spaces as Singapore develops. However, given Singapore's land limitations, we need to take a balanced approach to ensure that sufficient land is also provided for our housing needs.

Even when we released the land parcel at Bedok Reservoir Road/Bedok North Road for residential development, we have been careful to retain the existing public access to the hill, as well as the mature banyan trees within Bedok Reservoir Park.

The site boundaries of this development will also not encroach upon the bird sanctuary within Bedok Reservoir Park, which is safeguarded as park land.

The proposed development has been kept low-scale so as to keep it compatible with the surroundings.

The developer is also encouraged to sensitively design the development to keep the existing topography and retain as many trees as possible.

Hwang Yu-Ning (Ms)
Group Director (Physical Planning)
Urban Redevelopment Authority