Singapore property developer fails in judicial review bid over differential premium

Property developer Chiu Teng @ Kallang has failed in its High Court bid to reduce the amount it owes the Government for a mixed-use site in Kallang.

The dispute concerns a difference in valuation of about $30 million.

Chiu Teng had calculated the differential premium for two adjacent plots it had acquired in 2010 to be more than $11 million. It used a table containing a "snapshot of rates" based on past prices for its calculation.

But the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) calculated the premium to be in excess of $40 million, based on a "spot valuation" or an assessment of the land's value at the given time.

The premium is charged when the developer makes changes to the uses permitted for the land and its maximum gross floor area.

The development involved in Chiu Teng's case is CT Hub, at the junction of Kallang Avenue and Kallang Bahru, which was completed last year.

In dismissing Chiu Teng's application for judicial review of the SLA decision, Justice Tay Yong Kwang held that the developer ought to have known the differential premium would not be assessed according to the table.

He said it had acted unreasonably in relying solely on two published circulars and the SLA's website, which carries a wide disclaimer over its contents.