Debate on ministries’ budgets: National Development

Parliament: Old Bukit Timah fire station to be spot for recreation

Plans are afoot to develop the former Bukit Timah fire station into an additional recreational node along the Rail Corridor, Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said.

"This former fire station is strategically located at the intersection of the Rail Corridor and the Coast-to-Coast trail which we launched quite recently," he told the House. "And we envision it to be a base for visitors to explore the nature and heritage attractions in the area, including Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Dairy Farm Nature Park and the Former Ford Factory."

The old station will also be home to a new Visitor Centre for the nature parks in the area, and will host other nature, heritage and recreational uses, Mr Lee said, adding that more details will be announced later this year.

He also said the ministry will develop more such community nodes for citizens to enjoy.

The Rail Corridor has been systematically developed over the past decade, and two years ago, trail enhancement works were announced to make the continuous 24km green stretch more conducive for cycling and trekking. Trains used to run through the corridor from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands until 2011, when Singapore resumed ownership of all Malayan Railways land south of Woodlands.

Residents living near the old fire station welcomed plans to rejuvenate the premises, which currently house a restaurant, among other occupants.

Ms Joanna Park, 35, told The Straits Times she would be happy to have a new place for her young children to play. "I'm also glad that this building can be preserved further (given) it has a history dating back to the 1950s."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2019, with the headline Old Bukit Timah fire station to be spot for recreation. Subscribe