Singapore has been renowned as amongst the most forward-looking countries according to a “Best Countries” ranking by US News & World Report. Moreover, the government has long prided itself, on its long-term planning and policy decisions. One of the areas that can stand testament to this policy of taking a long-term approach is land development.
The concept plan which was last reviewed in 2011 – 2013, is a broad conceptual plan that covers Singapore’s long-term strategic land use and transportation over a period of 40 – 50 years. The land-use plan outlines the strategies to provide the physical capacity to meet the pace of economic development and sustain a high-quality living environment for a possible 6.5 – 6.9 million population by 2030, as projected by the National Population and Talent Division.
The Master Plan translates the broad, long-term strategies set out in the Concept Plan into more detailed plans for implementation over the next 10 to 15 years. This includes specifying the permissible land use and densities. The master plan is reviewed every five years, with the last review done in 2019.
Table of Contents
- Why Is The URA Master Plan Useful
- 5 General Themes of the Master Plan
- Key Regional Highlights
- Navigating the URA Master Plan
Why Is The URA Master Plan Useful
The master plan is the closest you get to having a crystal ball on the property market. Understanding the government’s long-term policies and knowing which locations will be targeted for development in the near future, gives investors invaluable insight into where they should look for opportunities.
If we peer into the Master Plan 2019, we may note that historic precincts such as Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown have been earmarked for rejuvenation through placemaking initiatives that give businesses an opportunity to reshape and revitalise to be more vibrant. Such efforts may boost confidence for potential investors looking at commercial investments in these locations.
Furthermore, residential homebuyers can also benefit from gaining knowledge by knowing about upcoming housing projects and amenities as well as the key transport nodes that might be developed in the near future. Such amenities and ease of connectivity will make a development more attractive and thus, in demand. Therefore, property investors will be better equipped to make investment decisions by understanding information that can already be found in the master plan.
Moreover, the master plan also indicates the revised plot ratio of each development. This piece of information gives residential homeowners and potential investors the ability to estimate the potential value of the development. And, if there’s a revision upwards, they may decide to unlock the potential value by carrying out an enbloc sale.
5 General Themes of the Master Plan
#1 To Create A Liveable And Inclusive Communities
More smart and sustainable housing precincts will be developed that are also equipped with a wide range of amenities. There will be more housing developments like the Punggol Northshore with integrated urban greenery and roof gardens. More of such projects will be built in various locations such as in Tengah, Punggol, Queenstown and Kampong Bugis.
Furthermore, innovative strategies are also adopted to conserve our national heritage and to expand our parks and park connectors to give residents more opportunities to connect with nature. This is in line with the goal of transforming Singapore into a greener city with over 550ha of nature park network and 500km of park connectors island-wide by 2030.
Public spaces are also designed with the intention of connecting people and fostering stronger relationships within the community. To allow businesses and local communities to take an active and greater role in the shaping of these public spaces, a pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme was introduced. The BID allows the private sector to operate independently to enhance the vibrancy and attractiveness of the precinct through various marketing campaigns. China Place, City Hall, Jurong Gateway, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Paya Lebar, Raffles Place, Singapore River, and Tanjong Pagar are all part of the pilot BID program.
Smart and sustainable living housing – Punggol Northshore. Source: URA
#2 To Build Local Hubs And Global Gateways
Since the 1991 concept plan was formulated, the push for the decentralisation of commercial activities from the city’s central area took shape with the creation of regional hubs in Jurong and Paya Lebar. Further emphasis and development to push jobs to the four corners, where people live and play, can be seen through the development in the Northern Gateway, the Central Area, the Eastern Gateway and the Western Gateway.
The Northern gateway would consist of the Agri-Food Innovation Park at Sungei Kadut, the Punggol Digital District, and the Woodlands Regional Centre. The Central area will continue to serve as a hub for global business and finance. Furthermore, the city centre will be rejuvenated with more city living options and amenities. The Eastern gateway will capitalise on the expansion of the Changi Aviation Hub and be a host to the aviation industry. It will also support an innovative lifestyle business cluster from the future Changi East Urban district. Finally, the Western gateway, is anchored by the Jurong Lake district. It is the largest commercial node outside the CBD and will also serve as a high-tech manufacturing hub through the Jurong Innovation district.
To strengthen our position in the Future Economy, master developers will be given the flexibility to determine the desired combination of uses within certain special areas that are under the Enterprise district. This makes it easier to change how space is used quickly in response to changing market needs.
The four economic gateways. Source: URA
#3 To Rejuvenate Familiar Places
The local identity areas will be rejuvenated with new public spaces, upgraded streetscapes or a sensitive injection of new homes and amenities. One such example is Holland Village, where new residences, retail and lifestyle uses are designed to blend with the intimate laneways and courtyards to add to the charm of Holland Village.
Holland Village – Artist’s Impression © Far East Organization, MKPL Architects: source URA
#4 To Create A Sustainable And Resilient City Of The Future
If you think it is hot in Singapore today, it’s projected to get even hotter by another 1.4°C to 4.6°C in the next century. With the threat of climate change, microclimatic modelling tools are now being used in the planning of new residential towns and estates to strengthen key wind corridors and optimise building layout and orientation for better natural ventilation.
Land is scarce in Singapore; therefore, many innovative strategies are used to optimise space for our growing needs. One is through the use of co-location of compatible recreational and community uses in the form of an integrated hub such as the Heartbeat@Bedok.
Next, is the use of underground space. A new underground Special Detailed and Control Plan (SDCP) was introduced to enable better planning of the underground spaces. Currently, the SDCP covers the Marina Bay, Jurong Innovation district and Punggol Digital District.
Artist impression of the upcoming East Coast Integrated depot, that will co-locate 1 bus and 3 MRT depots. Source: URA
#5 To Provide More Convenient And Sustainable Mobility
To reach our goal of being a car-lite society by 2030, more jobs are planned outside of the central district and closer to where people live across the island. As such, more amenities and public infrastructure are being built. The current plan says that by 2040, residents will be able to walk to the nearest neighbourhood centre in 20 minutes and finish 9 out of 10 peak-time trips without using a car in 45 minutes.
In terms of infrastructure, three new MRT lines will be added to the existing network. They are the Jurong Regional Line (JRL), Cross Island Line (CRL) and Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL). With these new additions, 8 out of 10 households will be within a 10-minute walk of a train station.
Island-wide connectivity map. Source: URA
Key Regional Highlights
- Expect new housing in Marina South, next to Bay South Gardens, along with other community facilities and precinct amenities to create a car-lite urban village
- Treasured historic districts such as Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown will be rejuvenated through “place-making” efforts in collaboration with local businesses to make the precincts more vibrant
- New retail concepts, as well as attractions and events will be introduced along Orchard road to revitalise the shopping district into a lifestyle destination
- With the new Thomson-East Coast line and Circle Line stations in the central area, connectivity will be greatly enhanced.
Bishan and Toa Payoh
- The Bishan Sub-Regional Centre will be transformed into an employment node that will be integrated with community facilities to serve both the residents and workers.
- A few of the community clubs as such, Bishan Community Club, Thomson Community Club, Bishan North Community Club will undergo upgrading works with some added facilities.
- Residents can expect better connectivity from Bishan, Toa Payoh and other towns along the Kallang river through enhanced walking and cycling routes
- Toa Payoh Town Centre will be rejuvenated to include a vibrant sports and community hub.
- The Mount Alvernia Hospital will be expanded with a new wing focusing on family-centric healthcare services
- A new Bright Hill station will be built to serve as an interchange station for the TEL and CRL MRT lines.
- As part of the Outram Medical Campus, the new Outram Community Hospital, SGH emergency building and National Cancer Centre is expected to open by 2023
- The Keppel club will be developed as a new residential precinct
- A new park will be built between Alexandra Park Connector and Telok Blangah Hill Park
- The former buildings of Henderson secondary school will be rejuvenated with new community facilities, such as childcare centre, nursing home and urban farm.
- More new housing choices will be made available in the Jalan Jurong Kechil area
- A new residential neighbourhood (Holland Plain) with sustainable water management with wetland park will be built
- Bukit Timah will have a new integrated facility, which will include a community centre, community library, indoor sports hall, elderly facility and a redeveloped market and hawker centre, at the doorstep of Beauty world MRT station
- An 11km park corridor will link the rail corridor to the Kallang Riverside park
Geylang and Marine Parade
- More jobs will be created near home, with new commercial developments at Paya Lebar Central
- A new community civic and cultural community centre, Wisma Geylang Serai will be built to serve as the heart of the Geylang Serai precinct
- Expect a new public housing in Dakota Crescent with the retention of familiar landmarks such as Dove playground
- There will be new MRT stations at Katong Park, Tanjong Katong, Marine Parade and Marine Terrace
- New housing developments in the Boon Keng area will be complemented with other amenities such as a new park and polyclinic
- A new people-centric and car-lite residential precinct at Kampong Bugis will provide new live and work options along the Kallang river
- More new housing options will be made available at Farrer Park, which will retain the swimming pool and former boxing gym
- The Sports Hub area will become a more vibrant destination with the injection of more community sports facilities such as a new football hub and tennis centre
- A new Tanjong Rhu TEL station will be built by 2024
Novena and Tanglin
- The north-south corridor and new park connectors along Sungei Whampoa and Adam road will enhance transport and recreational connectivity
- Health City Novena is slated to become a leading healthcare hub. This includes the new Tan Tock Seng hospital integrated care hub and national skin centre
- Two new MRT stations – Stevens and Napier stations will be built as part of the TEL
- Holland Village will see new mixed-use developments to add vibrancy and buzz to the area
- Another mixed-use development at one-north will see Singapore’s first co-shared executive learning centre dedicated to talent and leadership development will be completed by 2021
- New residential developments can be expected at Dawson estate and near the rail corridor
- A new recreational corridor linking west coast park to Labrador nature reserve will offer a glimpse of the world-class Pasir Panjang container port
- A new 60-hectare Bayshore precinct located next to East Coast Park and the sea is planned as a new lifestyle waterfront residential estate
- The ninth polyclinic under SingHealth Polyclinics at Chin Cheng Avenue next to Changi Road/Still Road will provide residents with outpatient medical care and treatment for chronic and acute conditions, including radiological services
- A 1,080-hectare plot of land east of the present Changi Airport will be the site of Changi Airport’s next major development – Changi East. It will include the Changi Airport’s terminal 5, Changi East industrial zone, Changi East urban district and other aviation support and ground transport infrastructure
- The cross-island line will add to the accessibility by shortening travelling time between Changi and the rest of the island
- Expect new housing developments in Pasir Ris Green, located near the town centre and Pasir Ris Park. These developments will also be integrated with other community facilities
- A new mixed-use development near the Pasir Ris Central will house a host of other community amenities such as polyclinic, childcare facilities and will also serve as an integrated transport hub
- The Pasir Ris park will also undergo upgrading of its existing park facilities
- The Pasir Ris wafer fab park will see a boost with new developments, which will create more jobs closer to home
- Pasir Ris will have three new CRL stations along with the current EWL Pasir Ris station serving as the interchange station
- The growth of the Changi Business park will create more jobs closer to home
- Tampines South will be developed over the next 10 to 15 years to provide over 8000 new homes
- New housing developments can also be expected at Tampines North along with other communal facilities
Ang Mo Kio
- New housing development at Kebun Baru will be made available with easy access to the Mayflower MRT station
- Another new development will be built at Lentor which will be next to the Lentor MRT station and will feature other commercial amenities
- In addition to the NS line, residents in Ang Mo Kio will have access to the TEL and CRL, improving the connectivity across the island
- More than 16km of cycling path will be added to the existing 4km, making it safer and convenient to get around town by cycling and walking.
Hougang and Serangoon
- A new residential precinct near the Lorong Chuan MRT station will be built together with new parks, amenities and improved pedestrian connectivity
- New waterfront parks and open spaces will be introduced at the Lorong Halus industrial estate. The industrial estate is being developed as a new job cluster for the food, lifestyle and logistics industry
- Serangoon and Hougang will see a total of four new CRL stations to serve the nearby residents and workers
- The Punggol district from 2023 onwards see around 5,000 new homes with easy access to dinning, retail and recreation amenities
- Punggol will also be home to an integrated development – Punggol Town Hub, featuring a hawker centre, community club and library
- And not forgetting the sports enthusiasts, the Punggol regional sports centre will feature a swimming complex and a range of other sports facilities to serve the residents’ growing sporting needs
- As part of the vision for the Punggol digital district, the new Singapore Institute of Technology campus will be built to enhance the digital learning environment
- A new mixed-use, integrated development will be built at Buangkok. It will connect the bus interchange and the Buangkok MRT station. It will also contain a hawker centre, community club and other amenities.
- Four large childcare centres, offering over 2,000 spaces for children will be built across the town so that families with young children can have access to quality and affordable childcare services
- A new integrated hub, Bukit Canberra will provide a one-stop destination for the residents, which will host a range of facilities such as an indoor sports hall, hawker centre and polyclinic
- New Canberra MRT station along the existing NSL has since become operational to serve the nearby residents
- Designed as a new generation neighbourhood plaza, the Canberra Plaza will provide residents with a myriad of amenities and options
- With the building of the Woodlands regional centre, it will be the North’s new lifestyle and employment hub, with new industrial, commercial and residential developments
- The Admiralty park, which is the largest park in the north, has been upgraded recently at a cost of $13.5 million, featuring 26 slides, giving the residents more recreational options
- Residents can look forward to more jobs closer to home after the completion of the Woods Square commercial development
- The upcoming woodlands health campus will add to the healthcare services and facilities available to the residents
- Three new TEL MRT stations will boost connectivity for residents commuting to the city
- A new polyclinic is slated to open in 2026 in Khatib that will add to the existing medical services available for the residents in Yishun
- A new five-storey HomeTeamNS clubhouse is being built near the Khatib MRT station and will feature an indoor adventure hub, gym and eco-filtration swimming pool
- Residents at Springleaf can get to the city quicker with the new Springleaf MRT station
- Young families or upgraders can look forward to new HDB housing options in Bukit Batok west along with a private mixed-use development, that will have a supermarket and food court to serve the nearby residents. Moreover, residents can also expect a new co-located living cum hawker centre development
- There will also be several new private housing options available at Hillview
- The town will also see two new Jurong region line MRT stations and one new downtown line MRT station – Hume station
- More new residential developments at Senja and Dairy farm will be built over the next five years
- An integrated healthcare facility and a hawker centre in Senja will provide convenient access to medical care and more food options for the residents
- More new park connectors at Dairy farm will connect to nearby nature reserves such as the Bukit Timah nature reserve, Chestnut nature park and Zhenghua nature park
Choa Chu Kang
- Residents in Choa Chu Kang can look forward to an upgraded sports centre that will offer new water play features and a fully air-conditioned indoor sports hall
- Moreover, a new SAFRA clubhouse is expected to be completed by 2022, that will feature a host of community facilities that will benefit NSmen and their families
- A new Choa Chu Kang MRT interchange is being built along with two new JRL stations that will improve accessibility to other parts of the West region
- Expect to see more housing options over the next 5 to 10 years at Clementi, Sunset Way and West Coast areas
- With the completion of a new eldercare facility at west coast link in 2022, seniors can look forward to easier access to quality eldercare services
- Residents can hope to enjoy more seamless transfers between different transport modes and easy access to a good mix of community uses with the development of the future integrated transport hub at Jurong gateway
- Under a pilot business improvement district (BID) initiative, more vibrancy and buzz are expected around Jurong gateway, Westgate, Jcube, IMM and Westgrate tower, as they band together to curate an exciting calendar of community activities.
- Five new JRL stations are expected to be built in the town to provide residents with faster and easier access to the wider West region
- The Jurong lake gardens is being rejuvenated as a people’s garden with a nature-themed and water play areas
- The Jurong canal will be transformed into a landscaped leisure corridor whilst the Jurong canal drive will form seamless connectivity between Jurong West, Jurong Lake district and Tengah town
- When the first phase of the Jurong Innovation district is completed in Bulim estate, it will become a one-stop advanced manufacturing campus
- 24 new JRL stations will be completed by 2030 in the town providing residents with greater accessibility to other parts of the West region for employment, leisure and retail needs
- With the completion of a new eldercare facility at Jurong West St 52, it will serve the eldercare needs of senior residents
- This will be Singapore’s new housing town and will be a model for smart and sustainable living
- Tengah will provide more than 42,000 new homes spread across five districts
- The town will have dedicated pedestrian and cycling paths along both sides of all new roads, making it safer and easier to walk and cycle around the town
- There will be a new neighbourhood centre and community club at the Tengah’s Plantation district and amenities for community farmways
- The town will also have a 20-hectare central park serving as the green lung of the town. In addition, an area spanning 100m and 5km long, forest corridor will be enhanced with native rainforest species to serve as a habitat for natural fauna.
- The town will also have four new JRL MRT stations that will provide residents with greater accessibility and connectivity to the West Region.
Navigating the URA Master Plan 2019
We will show how to navigate the URA Master Plan by going through a case study. For our case study example, we shall be looking at the new Sengkang Grand Residences – an integrated development near Buangkok MRT Station.
Sengkang Grand Residences
Street Name: 70 Compassvale Bow
District Zone: D19 / Sengkang
Developer: Siena Residential Development Pte Ltd and Siena Trustee Pte Ltd
Number of Units: 680 Units
Expected Completion: 2023
Tenure: 99 Years
Land Cost: $923.60 PSF PPR
Average Launch Price: $1,744 PSF
Next, let’s take a look at the surroundings of the new project from OneMap. We first note that there are three condominiums nearby the Sengkang Grand Residences that we can make comparisons with. Next, we realise the surrounding area is mostly HDBs with the nearest shopping mall being Hougang Green shopping mall. Lastly, we have a big uncertainty marked by the yellow box at Buangkok Drive. So let’s use the Master Plan search tool to find out more.
Step 1: Head to the URA website to access the Master Plan. You should see the following.
Step 2: Type the address of the location that your searching in the search box
Step 3: Once you have keyed in the location, the location would be highlighted as seen by the blue box in the diagram below
However, at this page you might wonder what this colourful map represents. For that, we need to understand the legend – what the colours represent. To get the legend, follow the steps below.
First click on the three dots, on the search box. From the drop-down menu, click on the legend icon.
From here, you will get a full list of the legend, and you will be able to refer to this anytime you need to understand what the colours represent.
Step 4: When we overlay the master plan, we will get the following information.
From the above, we understand the following:
- Sengkang Grand Residence is under Commercial & Residential site.
- All the orange zones that we see are purely residential.
- There’s an educational institution right behind the Sengkang Grand Residence, which is identified as Palm View Primary school from the OneMap.
- We also note there is a place of worship (Masjid Al Mawaddah) and two civic & community institutions (St Andrew’s Adult home & Singapore Boys’ hostel) next to the educational institution.
- Previously, in the OneMap, there was no development next to the Singapore Boys’ hostel. However, from the master plan, we can gather there will be utility-related developments.
- We also see the Health & Medical care site at the left corner of the diagram, representing the Buangkok Green Medical Park.
- Next, we move to the top left corner of the diagram. We see the plot of land marked by three different colours. The grey represents the transport facilities, which is a train depot under the management of SBS Transit.
- The yellow zone demarcation represents reserve land. Which means there are no particular plans for the development of the land as of now.
- The surrounding area that has been demarcated by the lavender colour, represents Business 1. This means the land can be used for a host of different types of light businesses and that it should not impose nuisance buffer greater than 50m on the surrounding site.
We have gained greater insights into the potential surrounding area of the Sengkang Grand residences from the Master plan that we would not have had just by looking at the street view maps.
The other benefit of looking at the master plan is that we are able to see the plot density of each residential development. Knowing the plot density gives us a visual idea of how densely populated the location is or will be. The other benefit of knowing the plot density is to unlock potential value for redevelopment if the current development is underdeveloped compared to the allowed plot density.
Step 5: You can also you use the master plan to do more research such as checking the prices of the nearby private properties around the target location (which in our case is Sengkang Grand residences) and also the demographics of the residents in the location.
Private Residential Properties Search
Click on the private residential properties tab – and you will see the icons displayed on the map of the private properties
If we click on the icon, we would see the transaction details of the development. As an example, we take a look at the Esparina residences. We can gather the latest psf amount and the rental psf amount of the project. We can also see the price trend and property transactions over a period of three years. Such information is conveniently provided enabling us to carry out our research.
We have tabulated the price information for the three projects for your easy reference. The information below gives us a price reference to the selling price of Sengkang Grand residences compared to other private residential projects nearby. It also gives us an objective understanding of the rental pricing in the area.
|Latest Sale Psf
|Latest Rental Psf
|JEWEL @ BUANGKOK
Click on the demographics tab and select the location on the map.
You will get the following information. Based on the highlighted zone, we note the location is predominately occupied by a younger demographic, with a large adult base at 30 – 44 years old and children under ages of 9 years old.
This is a good sign for our intended property as a young demographics would mean frequent patronage of the mall’s amenities and thus, making the project more recognisable and desirable.
(Bonus) Step 6: If you are searching on a brand-new development, you can check whether the site was tendered from a government land sales programme and find out the corresponding information regarding the land price, tenure and bidder.
From the drop-down menu, click on the government land sales (GLS) tab.
You will then get the following information if the site was sold under a GLS. Moreover, the nearby GLS sites will also be highlighted.
And that’s how you can use the URA master plan search tool to help you with your research into any property that you are looking to either buy or sell.
This article was originally published on 9 June 2020 and has been updated to reflect the latest information.
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