The Forest Woods condo that was launched recently is set to occupy space currently occupied by colonial buildings. The buildings located in Upper Serangoon were constructed in 1930’s and housed the Paya Lebar Police Station until the late 80’s.
However, some history buffs have not received the news well calling the imminent demolition a loss of heritage.
The top bid for the site; which measures 150,711 sq ft was awarded to City Developments Ltd – a consortium in November 2015 at $321m. The site is located near NEX shopping mall and Serangoon MRT station.
The history buffs are of the opinion that the pre-war buildings which are over 80 years old could be converted into clubhouses instead of being demolished since they have played a major role in the history of local police.
They gave an example of Punggol’s Matilda House which Sim Lian Group converted into a clubhouse for A Treasure Trove condo residents. However, the Paya Lebar Police Station is not set for conservation.
According to CDL spokesperson, the government sales condition does not require the conservation of any of the buildings, although the developer had assessed ways of saving the existing structures.
“The police station building measures 570 sq m and it is one of the constraints on the site planning since t is located at the center on the site. Its large size and orientation make conservation infeasible,” said CDL spokesperson.
While CDL is unable to conserve the buildings on this site, it has conserved other buildings on other sites and integrated them. A good example is a 150 year old bungalow that which it converted into a clubhouse at Spring Grove condo.
Urban Redevelopment Authority oversees the conservation of buildings in Singapore. Its spokesperson did not comment on the conservation of the site but said that prominent landmarks on Beach Road, Maxwell Road, Joo Chiat Road and Eu Tong Sen Street had been conserved including old police stations.