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Woodlands could easily get almost ten thousand new dwelling units as part of HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme, that is set to change the entire estate. The new residential projects, to be sited at Woodlands Central and Woodlands North Coast, were announced by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Sunday (April 16).

The Woodlands Central homes is going to be located close to the Woods Square and there will be commercial facilities as well. The authorities have yet to choose if these will likely be public or private units. Meanwhile, the Woodlands North Coast public housing development will offer residents a “housing-in-the-woods” experience by leveraging on the area’s natural hilly terrain so residents can take advantage of good views of Admiralty Park as well as the Straits of Johor.

The entire makeover for Woodlands – the Republic’s northern regional centre – will likely be implemented inside the next five to 10 years. A spending budget has yet to be finalised. The ROH programme aims to liven up heartlands for Singaporeans. Woodlands, a part of HDB’s third batch that also includes Toa Payoh and Pasir Ris, is placed to undergo the most massive changes.

Retiree Lawrence Lee (far left) tending to plants in the community herb garden in Bukit Batok – the first such garden in a neighbourhood centre. The centre, which reopened last October, also features a revamped fitness corner as well as the first community pa

HDB claimed that Woodlands is going to be transformed into the “Star Destination in the North” and listed six “star attractions” to become rolled out across the 1,198 ha neighbourhood. The first involves expanding the Woodlands Regional Centre. This comprises two parcels of land – retail hub Woodlands Central, a 30ha area surrounding Woodlands MRT and Causeway Point with a brand new town plaza; and Woodlands North Coast, a 70ha area between Republic Polytechnic and Woodlands Waterfront.

The second parcel (Woodlands North Coast) is placed to accommodate a company park – the initial such cluster within the northern region – with land put aside for small and medium enterprises. The facelift for that Waterfront means new trails along with a nature promenade for residents.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority had said previously that the Woodlands Regional Centre provides the possible ways to eventually provide approximately 100,000 jobs when its transformation is completed. Regional centres are second-tier commercial zones. The other two are Jurong Lake District and the Tampines Regional Centre. Seletar is slated to be the 4th such centre.

The six “star attractions” are:

Woodlands Regional Centre set as a new hub for businesses, especially those with Malaysian and ASEAN links;

A whole new 1.9km community link called WoodsVista Gallery, that can wgcuwe dedicated cycling and pedestrian paths connecting Woodlands Central for the Waterfront;

WoodsVista Gallery, a brand new 1.9km scenic community link connecting Woodlands Central and Woodlands waterfront, will be developed. PHOTO: HDB

Upgrading of the existing Woodlands Town Garden – a whole new boardwalk, children play area and heritage corner will likely be installed. When completed, it will probably be renamed Marsiling Park;

The present Woodlands Town Garden will be upgraded and expanded to become a new ‘Discovery Playground’. PHOTO: HDB

A future integrated healthcare complex referred to as Woodlands Health Campus. This may add a new acute care hospital, community hospital and nursing home set to become opened in phases from 2022;

A new community hub known as the Community Nexus alongside Admiralty MRT station. It will house facilities like a medical centre, eldercare and childcare centres, a hawker centre, dining and stores, and housing for your elderly;

Located next to the Admiralty MRT, the city Nexus will function as a one-stop hub of facilities for all ages. PHOTO: HDB

Upgrading of the existing 4.2km park connector over the North-South MRT line viaduct in to a Social Corridor where community gardens, pavilions and rest points, among other things, will likely be introduced across the route.

The existing park connector that runs along the Medical Equipment Suppliers Dubai from the east to west of Woodlands will likely be turned into a ‘Social Corridor’. PHOTO: HDB

HDB’s makeover for the town follows a swathe of changes and new commuting options that are set to get completed there on the next several years.

Such as three new MRT stations in Woodlands by 2019 included in the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line which can also be attached to the future cross-border MRT system linking Woodlands to Johor.

The brand new North-South Expressway, a 21.5km road linking Woodlands towards the city, is also probably be ready in 2026. Recently, the authorities announced a makeover for the Woodlands Checkpoint as well.

HDB said it has engaged 220 residents and community stakeholders in 2015 over seven focus group sessions, in developing these plans for Woodlands. Responding to queries through the Straits Times, its spokesman said the different agencies will work closely to gauge if you have any potential environmental impact from your proposed developments, and where necessary, set up mitigating measures.