Telok Blangah needs new facilities, not more new flats

Two Build-to-Order (BTO) projects were launched in July 2012, when I first moved into Telok Blangah Towers.

One year later, another BTO project was launched.

I am dismayed to learn that a new BTO site next to the Telok Blangah Drive Cooked Food Centre will be launched this month, just as the first two projects are completed.

I am not against the development of new flats in a mature estate. However, I am against the idea of new flats being built without giving due consideration to rejuvenating the sleepy estate of Telok Blangah or adding new facilities to enhance it.

This small but central BTO site could be better utilised to serve current residents - such as building a new integrated community hub to complement the dated Telok Blangah Community Centre.

Telok Blangah Mall, which sits next to the vacant site, has a poor mix of tenants and fails to draw residents.

I would welcome new facilities like a hypermarket, a POSB bank, a library, a culinary studio with a cafe, a well-equipped gym/fitness centre, a childcare centre and a multi-purpose court and garden on the rooftop to inject vibrancy into the area.

There is also an urgent need to increase the seating capacity at the hawker centre to cater to the households moving into the new flats. The cooked food centre is always full during lunchtime as it also attracts staff working at the nearby Mapletree Business City, PSA Corp and Ministry of Defence offices.

With so many new BTO flats in the area, there is a need for new facilities to cater to the younger population moving in. Invite residents to co-create the environment and give them a strong sense of belonging.

There has been a lot of rejuvenation and redevelopment in Punggol, Sembawang and, soon, in Woodlands, Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris. Let us not forget Bukit Merah, which includes Telok Blangah.

Chew Chee Meng