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What makes Sembawang hub different? Greenery

23 May, 2017

Sembawang will soon be home to a 12ha integrated sports and community hub with unique attributes - it will be located in a lush setting that celebrates the area's greenery and heritage.

Focusing on the themes of water, greenery, health and food, the hub is expected to have a swimming pool in a natural and rustic environment, multi-play courts, and an eco-friendly hawker centre with efficient energy lighting and water-saving fittings. Other ideas include forest trails.

The new community space will also include Admiralty House, now gazetted as a national monument. It was built by the British in 1939 and had served under British rule as the residence of the flag officer for the Malayan area.

The house is now occupied by Furen International School, a private education institution, which will vacate the premises in 2020.

Effort is being made to preserve the natural greenery surrounding the hub, which will be a five-minute walk from the Sembawang MRT station. While approximately 200 of the 761 trees on Admiral Hill, where the hub will be located, will be removed or relocated to make way for the development, another 1,000 will be planted in the area.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, along with the other MPs for Sembawang GRC, attended a roadshow outside Sembawang MRT station yesterday, promoting the hub.

Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung, who is also an MP for the GRC, said: "Our overall approach is to build facilities into the forested area, rather than planting trees around the facilities. In a densely built-up city-state like Singapore, it is important that here in Sembawang, we have a community space that will retain the heritage and greenery of the area and preserve many of the key features in the terrain."

Various agencies will be working together to make the hub a reality, including Sport Singapore, the National Parks Board and the National Heritage Board.

There are also plans for a senior care centre providing services such as daycare and physiotherapy for the elderly in the area.

A completion date for the hub has yet to be announced as ideas for the facilities are still being solicited, though certain facilities are expected to be up by 2019. Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said: "We are engaging residents for their thoughts on growing these ideas into a reality that they will embrace and enjoy."

Focus group discussions for residents will be held this month and next. Engineer Kam Hwai Mun, 40, who has lived in Sembawang for 10 years, said: "We have been waiting for some of these facilities, like the hawker centre and the swimming pool, for many years."

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 4 July 2016