Dover Forest opens up wider debate on land and housing

The potential clearing of Dover Forest to make way for Build-To-Order flats this year sparked concerns among the public, and the matter was raised in Parliament. Political Correspondent Justin Ong examines the feasibility of alternative public housing sites that have been proposed, and what this episode means in the longer term for the wider debate over development versus conservation.

The core purpose of HDB housing has also emerged as a side issue of the debate over whether to keep Dover Forest (right). With its location in prime District 10 as well as the mature Queenstown estate, some have argued that Dover Forest could be a lo
The core purpose of HDB housing has also emerged as a side issue of the debate over whether to keep Dover Forest (right). With its location in prime District 10 as well as the mature Queenstown estate, some have argued that Dover Forest could be a location that would be less about providing affordable housing than investment and ultimately, profitability. ST FILE PHOTO
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Mr Mak pointed out that this took place 11 years after the East-West MRT line was completed in 1990, which was also 11 years after Singapore Polytechnic moved to its current Dover location in 1979.

"It would have been cheaper and more convenient to build Dover MRT station while the line was under construction, than to do it after the line was operational," he said. "I think when they built the station, they planned to tear down the forest eventually, to recover the infrastructure investment."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2021, with the headline Dover Forest opens up wider debate on land and housing. Subscribe