Natural and built heritage to be conserved as Springleaf forested area is developed
Natural and built heritage to be conserved as Springleaf forested area is developed. Springleaf will be developed as a mixed-use site, with some natural and built heritage elements preserved.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced on Monday (June 6) that housing will be built in the area to meet demand and take advantage of the Thomson-East Coast Line’s Springleaf MRT station, which opened last year.
The Seletar Expressway, Mandai Road, and Upper Thomson Road encircle the more than 30ha site.
Approximately half of it is currently zoned for residential and mixed commercial and residential use, with the remaining quarter, or 8.5ha, zoned as park land and the remainder as a reserve site.
According to the URA, an environmental baseline study was conducted in 2018. It then enlisted the help of a multidisciplinary team, which included ecologists and landscape architects, to “explore potential ideas for sensitive development that would protect the area’s rich biodiversity.”
In 2020, the agency commissioned an environmental impact assessment to understand how its development plans would affect the site, which includes two zones identified as significant biodiversity conservation areas by studies.
According to a URA spokesman, based on the recommendations of the impact assessment, the park area will be expanded to 10ha to 15ha – roughly half the Springleaf site. He added that the planned residences in the area will be private housing.
The National Parks Board announced on Monday that a scientific study had identified Nee Soon Nature Park in Springleaf as a buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, as well as an ecological link between it and the upcoming Khatib Bongsu Nature Park.
Sungei Seletar, which runs through the site, and the immediate surroundings around significant biodiversity areas will be kept as part of the park, according to the URA’s diagrams.
The URA also stated that future buildings in the area will have small footprints to reduce habitat loss and greener facades to avoid being hit by birds in flight.
Buildings will also be constructed on “disturbed ground” – land that has previously been affected by development – and in less sensitive areas, it said, adding that construction will be phased to minimize environmental impact.
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