Forum: Do more to manage crowds at SkyVille@Dawson's rooftop gardens

I'm a resident of SkyVille@Dawson.

Having seen several of my neighbours volunteering to assist the residents' committee in checking the rooftop gardens to ensure there is no overcrowding, smoking, littering or noise pollution and that people adhere to safe management measures, I'm disappointed in my town council's inability to manage crowds at the gardens.

The reply the town council has given me is that the rooftop gardens are public spaces and all owners have signed a lease purchase agreement with the Housing Board acknowledging the gardens are meant for public use. There is nothing any owner or resident can do.

SkyVille@Dawson residents pay a premium of 60 to 70 per cent more compared with usual HDB town council fees for the upkeep of the estate, rates identical to those at Pinnacle@Duxton, which also has rooftop gardens.

However, those living at Pinnacle@Duxton do not face the same crowding issue as members of the public have to pay $6 to access their rooftop gardens.

The rooftop gardens at Pinnacle@Duxton have also been prudently closed to the public since the start of the pandemic for the welfare and health of residents.

In contrast, the rooftop gardens at SkyVille@Dawson, in the same group representation constituency as Pinnacle@Duxton, are open to all.

Crowds on National Day and during the New Year countdown have posed a nuisance for SkyVille@Dawson residents yearly since the development was completed.

I often see groups of non-residents carrying snacks and alcohol going up in lifts to level 47. Parents with children and seniors are also fearful of the potential spread of Covid-19 with many others sharing the same lifts.

If Pinnacle@Duxton can resolve the issue by charging the public and regulating the crowd, more can be done using a similar framework without needing nightly and weekly enforcement by volunteers and agencies.

This is not sustainable in the long term as this is a cat and mouse game. It's a temporary solution, not a permanent one.

This issue has been unresolved for six years. I hope the relevant agencies and Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs can do more to have a comprehensive permanent solution.

Lionel Seng

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