Reclamation of about 900ha of land off Changi expected to start by year end

The specific use of the land off Changi Bay is still being studied. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Updated from : The Straits Times, 22 July 2022

SINGAPORE – Reclamation works for about 900ha of land off Changi Bay are expected to start by the end of this year, The Straits Times has learnt.

The specific use of the land, which is more than 10 times the size of the Botanic Gardens, is still being studied, the Housing Board (HDB) told ST on Friday (July 22).

“Changi Bay has been identified for land reclamation, to meet Singapore’s future land use needs. The specific use of the land is being studied,” said its spokesman in response to queries.

HDB is the developing agency appointed to carry out land reclamation works, and the infilling of the site near the existing Changi Exhibition Centre is expected to take at least 10 years.

The reclamation area lies entirely within Singapore’s territorial waters.

Property experts say the reclaimed land is likely to be used for military, infrastructure or industrial purposes rather than housing due to its proximity to military operations and the airport.

National University of Singapore Professor of Real Estate Sing Tien Foo said the reclaimed site can enhance military training capabilities and provide the air force with quicker access to the South China Sea, if it is integrated with the adjacent airbase in Changi.

Like the dikes and polder project on nearby Pulau Tekong, which is also used by the military, the reclamation could protect the Changi military airbase facilities against rising sea levels, he noted.

“The stretch of land is unlikely to have permanent development that may obstruct military defence,” said Prof Sing, who is also director of the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies.

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, said zoning the area for residential use also makes little sense because of its remoteness and distance from the city.

Moreover, the site’s closeness to Changi Airport makes it less suitable for housing, given the noise from the airplanes and height limits imposed on buildings. Instead, the area could store cargo for the airport or be used for logistics, Mr Mak said.