20% of the Farrer Park site for sports and recreational purposes

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Development of the Farrer Park site to include sports and recreational activities. (ILLUSTRATION: HDB, SportSG, URA)

SINGAPORE — Around 20% of the Farrer Park site will be set aside for sporting and recreational uses under plans unveiled on Monday (April 25) to redevelop the area into a public housing estate and maintain its rich sporting heritage.

Some 1,600 new HDB apartments will be launched over the next three years, the Housing & Development Board, Sport Singapore and Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement.

In its heyday, Farrer Park was the springboard for some of Singapore’s greatest sporting legends such as footballer Quah Kim Song, swimmer Ang Peng Siong and sprinter C Kunalan. It has served as a training ground for many national athletes since the 1950s, with its array of sports facilities such as an athletics stadium, swimming complex, boxing hall, tennis center and a open ground.

In recognition of the sporting character of the district, sports and recreational spaces will be developed or preserved within the new subdivision.

A central green space of approximately 1.2 hectares including a field and a park will be built. The boxing gymnasium will be retained and transformed into a multipurpose community sports space. The sports facilities will be integrated into the estate’s multi-storey car park, with the ground floor configured to be reserved for sports activities. A jogging track will connect the various sports and recreational facilities on the estate.

During the 2019 Master Plan Draft Expo, it was mentioned that the Farrer Park Swimming Complex would be retained alongside the old boxing hall.

“However, after further detailed studies, the agencies have determined that it would not be possible to retain the swimming complex due to various technical considerations,” the statement read. The existing swimming pool would have required a complete overhaul to ensure the quality of the pool facilities and a renovation would not impact costs, he added.

Instead, a new sports center at the same location, which will include swimming pools and other sports facilities, has been proposed by the agencies.

New collective commercial and social facilities in the housing estates, such as neighborhood shops and a crèche, will also be built.

In developing the redevelopment plans, the agencies engaged a variety of stakeholders, ranging from Friends of Farrer Park (FOFP) to current residents since 2018, the statement said.

“Current residents of the Farrer Park area also said they welcomed plans to redevelop the area… FOFP members were also hopeful that more sports spaces could be introduced where possible.”

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