Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bt Timah estate residents reject eldercare facilities too

SINGAPORE - Residents of Toh Yi estate in Bukit Timah are rejecting HDB's plans to build eldercare facilities in their estate, following in the footsteps of similar objections from Woodlands residents.

HDB plans to build studio apartments for the elderly in the area, to be housed in one block on a plot of land at the junction of Toh Yi Road and Toh Yi Drive, The Straits Times reported.

Residents say the apartments will 'rob' them of their common space and the recreational facilities currently situation on the plot of land, which includes a basketball court, garden and a jogging track.

However, a HDB official said the apartment block will have a playground and exercise corner on its second floor, which will be open to all residents in the estate.

Some residents also raised the objection that the apartments are like 'death houses' - places where elderly go to wait for their death.

More than 200 signatures were collected in a petition signed by residents from the 19 HDB blocks in the area, private landed estate opposite, and a nearby condominium.

The petition was submitted to MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Ms Sim Ann yesterday.

While she said she is working with HDB to address these concerns, Ms Sim said the apartments is a sensible proposal as the area has its share of elderly folks.

However, she acknowledged the unhappiness surrounding the removal of the amenities occupying the land as the town council had spent $120,000 building the jogging track and garden last year, having not known the upcoming plans for the land.

HDB held a closed-door meeting with more than 100 residents yesterday to discuss the situation.

Last week, it was reported that Woodlands residents are protesting plans to build an elder day-care centre at the void decks of their HDB blocks, as they fear it will deprive them of void deck space and cause their property value to depreciate.

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