New tender called for Fernvale site originally awarded to firm for temple with columbarium

BTOs at Fernvale Link, at the junction of Sengkang West Way.
BTOs at Fernvale Link, at the junction of Sengkang West Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A new tender has been called at the Sengkang site originally awarded to a commerical firm to build a Chinese temple housing a columbarium.

An outcry from residents in the area had led the authorities to terminate the project.

On Tuesday, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) put up a tender notice for the site at Fernvale Link for the development of a Chinese temple.

The site, which has an area of 2,000 sq m, will be leased for a term of 30 years.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) had said in May that the land would be released for re-tender when it signed a mutual termination agreement with Eternal Pure Land, the company which had secured the original bid.

Tender documents uploaded on the HDB website showed that provisions had been put in place to allow only religious groups to bid for the land.

"To qualify for participation in this Tender, the Tenderer must be established or constituted for the advancement of religion," said the documents.

For-profit companies have been excluded from the tender. Only registered societies, charities and non-profit companies can qualify.

The tender closes on Aug 4.

The previous tender had been awarded to Eternal Pure Land, a commercial company that planned to build a temple and commercial columbarium on the land.

After residents in Build-To-Order flats around the development complained about the land going to a commercial entity, MND terminated the previous tender agreement, and refunded the company the $5.2 million it had paid for the land.

The ministry also released a small plot of land along Tampines Road, zoned for cemetery use, to the company for a "pilot project" for columbarium services.

lesterh@sph.com.sg