Proposed Land Reclamation at Sembawang Beach
Proposed Land Reclamation at Sembawang Beach
Write-up by Margie HallThe Draft Master Plan 2003 Exhibition (North Region) at the URA Centre in April, showed some interesting new developments for the Sembawang area, including a Sports Centre with swimming pool, outdoor eating places, and more park connectors, all described in large bright text and illustrated with photos and drawings. But the Masterplan Map showed reclaimed land beyond the present coastline at Sembawang Beach. This is the beach that starts at Sembawang Park, continues past the old Kampong Wak Hassan, and the Jalan Inggu area with the mosque, to the Simpang Kiri Canal (by the former Sea Sports Centre) at Jalan Mempurong end.
Apart from the new coastline on the Map, there was no text about the land reclamation of the beach, no drawings or photos of what it might look like in the future, how it would be developed. In fact, the proposed reclaimed land was just coloured yellow and marked as Reserve Land on the Map. That means that the planners have no need for it and no plans for it in the near future!!
One of the mysteries is why the URA need this land as reserve land, when the Master Plan also shows the huge adjacent 534 hectare area of Simpang as Reserve Land, plus the extra land (more than 115 hectares) they are planning to reclaim there. Simpang was cleared in 1987, was marked out to be Simpang New Town in plans in the 1990s, but due to the reduced demand is not needed for housing in the near future. It is now just a bare area coloured yellow on the Master Plan 2003. If they have so much Reserve Land at Simpang, cleared long ago, why do they need to reclaim Sembawang Beach?
Effects of land reclamation at Sembawang Beach
With land reclamation the beach at Sembawang Park and all along to the Simpang Kiri Canal will obviously disappear. The fishing jetty at Sembawang Park will no longer exist. The walls along the seafront at Sembawang Park and Wak Hassan will probably change. At the other end of the beach, the old Sea Sports Centre jetty will no longer exist either. As Reserve Land, the reclaimed land will probably just be grassed over, and the new coastline will most likely be a long wall of granite rocks. We have to guess because nothing definitive is being said about it. There are in fact two versions of the new coastline (*), one at the Exhibition and one on the URA webpage.
Whatever the final form of the land reclamation, it will definitely involve the destruction of a natural beach, one of Singapore's few remaining natural beaches, which is well-used by large numbers of Singaporeans, especially at weekends and public holidays. If you are a citizen or PR and have any feelings about the loss of this beach, please give your feedback to the URA. Electronically, you can do so via their website or email. Alternatively, you can also send in your feedback to the following address: Master Plan 2003 Exhibition, Fax: 6226 3546
Urban Redevelopment Authority,
45 Maxwell Road
The URA Centre,
If you would like to share your feedback with us, do email us and we will include it on this website (if you like). Just a note: If you are doing feedback to URA, it is a good idea to tell them if you have special connections to the Beach. Some people may be unhappy at the loss of a natural beach, whether they visit Sembawang Beach or not. For many others, this Sembawang Beach, part of it or all of it, is part of their present lives or their past lives. Make this clear to URA. Tell them how many years you have been coming to the Beach, of your family memories of the Beach, how you used to picnic on the Beach at the Park, or keep a boat at Wak Hassan Beach, and that you do not want the land reclamation. Tell them your connection with Sembawang area, how long you have lived or did live in Sembawang, and what the Beach area means to you. Tell them the beach and seafront area is one of the few places that retains the historical identity of the old Sembawang, that it's part of your identity. Whatever, just put it in your own words and say how you feel. Just make sure you keep using the word Beach, rather than only talk about the Park, because otherwise URA will mostly reply to you about the Park, and tell you not to worry, the Park is going to stay!!
(*) At the URA North Region Exhibition, which closed on April 16th, there was a small indentation in the new coastline, opposite Sembawang Park, possibly for a lagoon.
The map as shown on the Draft Masterplan 2003 shows the indentation on the map is much larger, and covers much of the reclaimed area. Enquiries to URA asking for rough dimensions of the reclaimed land and its lagoon produced the reply that the details of the new coastline are not confirmed.