WE REFER to Mr Andrew Williams’ letter, ‘Land, not money, is the primary problem’, on Tuesday.
As part of our comprehensive land-use planning process, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) works in close partnership with various government agencies to ensure that sufficient land is set aside for various economic, social and recreational uses.
For sports facilities, the URA and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) work closely to ensure that sufficient land is set aside for sports uses, such as public sports complexes and facilities to serve the community for both long- and shorter-term needs. At present, the SSC promotes participation in sports through its comprehensive network of public sports facilities, which include some 20 stadiums, 24 swimming complexes, 16 multi-purpose sports halls, 15 gymnasiums and 54 tennis courts, among others.
The SSC has also adopted innovative ways to provide more spaces for playing fields, through collaboration with the Ministry of Education on the Dual Use Scheme (DUS) for its school fields since 2003. The number of school fields available for public use over the weekends for sports activities has grown from seven since its inception to 130 at present. In addition, the DUS recently included 30 indoor sports halls, which are suitable for indoor games such as basketball, badminton and volleyball.
To cater to shorter-term needs, land that is not immediately required for development is put to good use in the interim. Town councils can make use of suitable vacant land within HDB towns for community recreational uses such as hard courts. Suitable vacant state land and properties are also made available for interim community, sports and recreational uses.
Turf City is one such example. Under the Master Plan 2008, the site at present occupied by Turf City is zoned for residential use, but the development timeframe has not been firmed up at this time. Since 2000, the site has been leased out to private business enterprises for various interim uses such as sports and recreation, food and beverage, and retail.
There are also about 313 plots of vacant state land available for community and recreational use, and details are available on the Singapore Land Authority website (www.sla.gov.sg).
The SSC has provided assistance to organised sports clubs in their search for viable land space for their sports activities. We invite Mr Williams to contact the SSC via e-mail at email@example.com should he have any queries on this.
Hwang Yu-Ning (Ms)
Group Director (Physical Planning)
Urban Redevelopment Authority
Deputy Director (Media Relations & Social Media)
Singapore Sports Council
Source: Straits Times, 3 Apr 2010