Carving up small industrial plots outlawed

Strata sub-division of small sites in the Industrial Government Land Sales programme is now outlawed for the full period of the lease, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said yesterday.

Until now, "successful tenderers or subsequent owners" as they are dubbed could subdivide the land for sale to other companies five years after receiving the Temporary Occupation Permit.

The change, which will apply once the sites are taken up, aims to ensure that small industrial plots - generally those below 1ha - are used primarily for an end-user's own operations, the MTI said.

It is also waiving the minimum building specification requirements for these small plots to give users more flexibility in building facilities that suit their needs.

These requirements - which cover development features, such as how many goods lifts buildings should have - were introduced in 2012 and remain in effect for larger plots.

Knight Frank executive director and industrial head Tan Boon Leong welcomed the move, saying: "With a smallish plot, if you subdivide, it becomes very inefficient. Small plots also have short tenures."

The MTI announced more sites for the second half of this year yesterday. All eight on the confirmed list are classed as small plots with 20-year leases. Two of the six reserve-list sites are also small plots. In all, the sites - mostly in Tuas and Woodlands - have an area of 13.9ha, up from 11.25ha for the sites released in the first half of this year.

Ms Tay Huey Ying, JLL's Singapore head of research and consultancy, noted yesterday that this is the largest supply of industrial land in two years, and is likely a response to a rise in economic sentiment over the past six months.

Meanwhile, Mr Tan of Knight Frank pointed out that a 1.6ha site in Woodlands Height on the reserve list has rolled over from the previous reserve list. He said the new restriction on strata subdivision of small plots is "good news for the bigger sites and also healthy for the market in general".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Carving up small industrial plots outlawed'. Print Edition | Subscribe