Plans for Jurong Lake District will go ahead

Plans for Jurong Lake District - which has been touted as Singapore's second Central Business District, with the high-speed rail terminus as its centrepiece - include the development of a commercial precinct and building of up to 20,000 new homes.
Plans for Jurong Lake District - which has been touted as Singapore's second Central Business District, with the high-speed rail terminus as its centrepiece - include the development of a commercial precinct and building of up to 20,000 new homes.PHOTO: KCAP

The vision for Jurong Lake District has not changed, regardless of how the high-speed rail (HSR) project between Singapore and Malaysia turns out, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Transformation plans for the area were developed well before Malaysia proposed the rail project, and are part of the broader effort to develop urban centres outside the downtown area, bringing jobs, amenities and recreational options closer to homes, he added.

He noted that work to transform Jurong started in 2008.

The fate of the area - touted as Singapore's second Central Business District, with the HSR terminus as its centrepiece - has been in the spotlight after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in May that his country plans to scrap the multi-billion-dollar HSR project.

His pronouncement sparked concerns among Singaporeans that the development of the 360ha Jurong Lake District may be affected adversely.

But Mr Wong provided assurance in Parliament yesterday that the plans will go ahead when ready, even if some details need to be adjusted along the way, as circumstances change.

Asked whether there would be delays if the HSR were to be cancelled, Mr Wong said adjustments - which may include that of timing - would have to be made, though it was "difficult to speculate now".

Plans for Jurong Lake District include the development of a commercial precinct and building of up to 20,000 new homes, the upgrading of Jurong Lake Gardens and the development of a major transport hub connecting the existing North-South and East-West MRT lines, as well as the upcoming Jurong Region and Cross Island lines.

Mr Wong said: "These plans are still relevant today. The land parcels that the Government has acquired are needed to realise these plans."

He said Jurong Country Club - which was acquired in 2015 - will provide for new mixed-use developments and community facilities, while Raffles Country Club is needed for the Cross Island Line's western depot and other transport-related uses.

Raffles Country Club will be handed over to the Government by the end of this month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2018, with the headline 'Plans for Jurong Lake District will go ahead'. Print Edition | Subscribe