A few weeks ago, it was reported that four sites at Balestier, Toa Payoh, Bedok and Jurong East will be cleared to make way for housing. Marked as residential areas in the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) master plan, these sites can either be set aside for HDB flats or private housing.
HDB commented that more details will be announced at some point. On the other hand, if the plots are to be used for private housing, they would be sold to developers during the biannual Government Land Sales.
While it may be some time before we see any residential properties being launched at these four plots of land, we wonder how it will be like to have a home there.
So we take a closer look at what each location has to offer.
The Balestier site is located at 51 Jalan Rajah, which Global Indian International School previously occupied. It’s also next to Kallang River and the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE).
The site offers convenient access to various amenities nearby. For instance, Toa Payoh MRT, HDB Hub and Toa Payoh Stadium are all within a 14-minute walk.
There’s quite a variety of recreational facilities within walking distance, such as HomeTeamNS Balestier, SAFRA Toa Payoh and Toa Payoh Swimming Complex (nine to 16 minutes walk).
For daily essentials, residents can either head to HDB Hub, or nearby supermarkets such as NTUC Fairprice in Lorong Limau and Zhongshan Mall (10 to 12 minutes walk).
The site is also near healthcare facilities, with Tan Tock Seng Hospital within a seven-minute drive away. Toa Payoh Polyclinic is around a 25-minute bus ride away.
Moreover, there are several schools within a two-km radius. These include Hong Wen School, Pei Chun Public School, CHIJ (Toa Payoh) and St Andrew’s (Primary, Secondary and JC).
Given the central location, residents will also be able to enjoy easy connectivity. On top of the North South Line at Toa Payoh MRT, they can get on the North East Line via the nearby Boon Keng MRT. There’s also the PIE nearby, which is good for drivers, but can also mean a lot of noise pollution for residents.
Our take on the site
The good thing about the Balestier site is its central location, which will be a boon for those working in the CBD.
On the other hand, compared to the other sites, residents would need to walk at least 10 minutes or take a bus to amenities such as schools and supermarkets. And for those sensitive to noise, its proximity to the PIE can be a turn-off.
Not too far from the Balestier site is the Toa Payoh site, located at 1 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh. The buildings are set to be demolished by November.
With an estimated area of 5,500 square meters, it’s just next to Pei Chun Public School and Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah. Prominent schools such as Raffles Girls’ (Secondary) and Raffles Institution are also within a two-km radius.
And just like the Balestier plot, the Toa Payoh site is centrally located and surrounded by a diverse range of amenities. The nearest MRT stations, Toa Payoh MRT and Braddell MRT, can be reached within a 12 to 16 minutes walk.
There’s also a 24-hour Sheng Shiong three minutes away by foot. HDB Hub and Junction 8 are within 15 to 20 minutes by bus for those looking for more retail options.
For sports and recreational activities, Toa Payoh Stadium, Toa Payoh Swimming Complex and SAFRA Toa Payoh are within 12 to 17 minutes of walking distance.
As for minor ailments, residents can head to Toa Payoh Polyclinic that’s 10 minutes walk away. On the other hand, Mount Alvernia is an eight-minute drive away for those who need more comprehensive medical services.
Our take on the site
The Toa Payoh site is an excellent site for those planning to have children. With Pei Chun Public School just next door, balloting for a spot will be a breeze. On the flip side, this would also mean heavy human traffic in the morning and afternoon as students arrive and leave the school.
Another good thing about the site is its very close proximity to Sheng Shiong that’s open 24/7, which means residents can shop there as and when they feel like it.
Located at 58 Bedok North Street 3, the site is currently occupied by Muhammadiyah Children’s Welfare Home. The home will be relocating to a new space in Pasir Ris in June, so demolition will be between July and May next year.
Estimated to have a land area of 16,500 square metres, the plot is 20 minutes walk from Bedok Reservoir MRT on the Downtown Line, and Bedok MRT on the East West Line.
It’s also located within a mature estate, so it’s not short on amenities. For instance, there’s a 24-hour Giant Express just across the street. Residents can also reach malls like Bedok Mall and Bedok Point within a 13 to 17 minutes bus ride.
There are also a number of schools within a two-km radius such as Red Swastika School and St Anthony’s Canossian (Primary and Secondary). Yu Neng Primary School is right next to the site.
In addition, healthcare facilities are within easy reach. Changi General Hospital is 13 minutes away by car, while Bedok Polyclinic is within 12 minutes walking distance.
Recreational options are aplenty as well, with Bedok Swimming Complex and Bedok Stadium around 16 minutes away by bus. And for those who love nature, Bedok Town Park and Bedok Reservoir are a bus ride away.
The Bedok site is also close to the PIE. While this means residents can enjoy shorter travelling time to the west, there’s bound to be noise coming from the heavy traffic.
Our take on the site
The Bedok site is pretty similar to the Toa Payoh sites; it’s also right next to a school and a 24-hour supermarket. While residing next to a school means a spot is almost guaranteed, the trade-off is the noise and traffic during school hours.
Coupled with the traffic coming from the PIE, this site isn’t ideal for those looking for some peace and quiet.
At 571 Jurong East Street 24, the site used to be the now-defunct Yuqun Primary School, which merged with Yuhua Primary School in 2002.
While the plot isn’t in a mature estate, it isn’t lacking in amenities. The nearest MRT — Bukit Batok MRT and Jurong East MRT — can be reached in 20 minutes by bus. The site will also be within walking distance of the upcoming Bukit Batok West MRT on the Jurong Region Line, in which the station will be ready in 2027.
When it comes to retail amenities, residents will be spoilt for choice. West Mall, Westgate, JEM and JCube are all within a 20-minute bus ride away.
The Jurong East plot is right next to Crest Secondary School. Other schools within the two-km radius include Yuhua Primary School and Bukit View (Primary and Secondary).
For recreational activities, Bukit Batok Swimming Complex and Civil Service Club @ Bukit Batok are within 15 to 20 minute bus ride from the site. Little Guilin and Jurong Lake Gardens are also a bus ride away for nature lovers.
With Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Bukit Batok Polyclinic in the vicinity (within a 20-minute bus ride), residents won’t have to travel far for healthcare services.
The Jurong East site is similar to the Balestier and Bedok sites as they’re all located next to the PIE. So some noise coming from the expressway is expected.
Our take on the site
The site may be in a non-mature estate (unlike the other three locations). Still, it offers a comprehensive range of amenities in the area, from retail options to recreational activities. It’s also another site that’s next to a secondary school — perfect for those with school-going children.
On the contrary, one downside is that most of the amenities are not within walking distance. The site’s proximity to a school and PIE also means residents will have to be prepared for noise pollution.
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