SINGAPORE - Four new funeral parlour sites will be launched for development over the next 10 years or so, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Jan 8).
These developments will help to meet the anticipated growing demand for after-death facilities and services as Singapore's population ages, the agency added.
The four earmarked sites are in Ang Mo Kio Street 63, near the SBS Transit bus depot, the industrial area along Bukit Batok Street 23, Woodlands Industrial Park E8, and Mandai Road, near the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium.
The sites will be progressively launched over the next decade or so, and are located in various parts of Singapore to provide a better distribution of funeral parlour services for bereaved families and their visitors.
The agency said that the annual demand for wake spaces is expected to grow along with the increase in resident deaths, which is projected to rise to about 40,000 deaths by 2040.
"After-death facilities are an important public infrastructure that accord dignity to the deceased, as well as comfort to bereaved families, in accordance with religious and cultural practices and preferences," NEA added.
The future funeral parlour complexes will include designs such as visual barriers to minimise impact to neighbours.
Potential design additions also include measures to ensure that the traffic situation around funeral parlours is manageable and parking facilities at the complex and surrounding areas are adequate.
NEA will be engaging neighbouring stakeholders to gather feedback and incorporate relevant suggestions into the development of the sites.
It added that there is an increasing demand for wakes held in purpose-built funeral parlours, although funeral wakes are mostly held at Housing Board void decks and multi-purpose pavilions.
"NEA will continue to work with land use planners to meet the long-term demand for funeral spaces and ensure that they are ready ahead of demand," the agency said.
Mr Delon Goh, director of Kong Heng Metal Polishing, which is located a few blocks from one of the designated funeral parlour sites, told The Straits Times that he does not think that the development would affect their business.
Kong Heng Metal Polishing has been located at Ang Mo Kio Street 64 for almost 20 years.
"It's okay because we're not residents; we're a factory, we're not staying there," Mr Goh said.
Additional reporting by Felicia Choo