Tanglin Club members reject move to redevelop clubhouse

Tanglin Club members at a special general meeting last week turned down a move to consider redeveloping its clubhouse building and grounds, along with its sports complex, which is already under study for redevelopment.

Members defeated 234 to 76 the proposal to empower a task force to study the viability of the project, understood to reflect a conservative mood among many who preferred to keep the status quo. According to its website, the club has more than 7,000 members.

The club last August had mandated a nine-member task force to explore how to maximise land use of "Plot B", consisting of the sports complex, tennis courts and squash centre, and located next to The American Club in Claymore Hill.

It was also tasked, among other things, to look into applying to the Urban Redevelopment Authority for permission to build a high-rise, mixed recreation and commercial development on the land.

The task force was formed as the club wanted to maximise its prime location and thus secure it by optimising the land use.

It is understood that "Plot A", where the clubhouse building is located, was suggested for inclusion, as the scope for redeveloping the land potential at Plot B should not be looked at in isolation.

The plots are on opposite sides of Stevens Road.

Club president Robert Wiener, in a message to members in the current issue of the club's magazine, explained the latest move to include the main clubhouse was a follow-up from the work of the task force since its inception last year.

"In the 70s, a decision was taken to redevelop the old clubhouse into the current facility we see today. I can clearly recall the sentimental tone and the resistance.

"Many of us couldn't imagine Tanglin without our beloved bungalow.

"True enough, as time passes by, history does repeat itself and again today, there is development contemplation at the club," he said.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said the club is "sitting on prime land and it is a pity if the site is not converted to its highest and best use within the permissible planning parameters".

It is understood some older members may have had concerns with costs and not being able to see the benefits of rebuilding.

"The Club Development Task Force is continuing its mandate to explore development opportunities on Plot B (as per the May 2016 AGM-carried resolution)," said a club spokesman responding to The Straits Times.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Tanglin Club members reject move to redevelop clubhouse'. Print Edition | Subscribe