Portions of a defunct police training facility will make way for a new housing estate to address Singapore’s demand for public housing.
The Housing Development Board yesterday announced plans to build 5,000 homes on the Old Police Academy in Mount Pleasant. Construction and launch of the first set of buildings to the public will be completed within five years.
“When fully developed, the new 33-hectare estate will provide about 5,000 new homes and add to the good geographical spread of public housing to meet the different needs of Singaporeans, including young families who want to live near their parents for better mutual care and support,” HDB wrote in a media release.
It said six buildings would be preserved – Blocks 1, 2, 13, 27, 28 and 153.
HDB added that the site had been designated for residential development since 1998. The new 33-hectare estate will be convenient for residents as it is near the Mount Pleasant and Thomson-East Coast Line train stations.
Residents can expect a design that has “rich tapestry of heritage and nature” with academy buildings and key spaces like a former parade ground reused and integrated into the new living space. An open-concept neighborhood center will include community spaces for plenty of interaction between residents.
The fact that not all of the historic facility will be leveled was welcomed.
Aljunied GRC MP and former police officer Sylvia Lim this morning posted a photograph of her squad at the academy in 1991.
“I’m relieved to read that six police buildings in and around Old Police Academy will be proposed for conservation, like Blk 1, where my squad mates and I were photographed in 1991,” she wrote.
The Old Police Academy opened in 1929 and served as a training facility for the Singapore Police Force until 2005. Operations shifted to the Home Team Academy in Choa Chu Kang.
Demand for public housing continues to grow as the number of applications for flats increased to close to 90,000 applications in 2020, 70% over the 50,000 of 2019.
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