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  Today Online 29 May 07
Bishan Family Park decision pending survey results
Letter from Lee Boon Leng Executive Manager (Corporate Services) Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council

Today Online 24 May 07
Conserve green areas in HDB estates
Letter from Thierry Tan

Straits Times 18 May 07
Bishan Family Park - a plea from the trees
Letter from Jo Marion Seow (Mrs)

WE ARE a motley group of trees that stand tall and majestic (if we do say so ourselves) on a little sloped strip of woods between three blocks of flats and a huge open field, just at the junction of Bishan Road and Braddell Road.

There are huge moss-covered rocks, stone-paved paths, lamps and benches in our midst, as well as a variety of birds that roost on our branches. When the wind blows during certain months of the year, you will see a drizzle of gently falling yellow leaves.

To us and the residents of the nearby flats, this is a place of singular, sublime beauty. The residents pay a premium to live in this corner of Bishan to enjoy the peace and privacy that this area of woods provides.

We are happy for the residents that there are plans to build a Bishan Family Park right where we are. There will be an in-line skating court, a street soccer court, two multi- purpose/basketball courts and a skate board court.

But we have some questions: Is there a need to build another children's playground in front of Block 101 when there is already an exercise corner and a playground beside Block 102?

What would happen to these? Will these be demolished? Won't this be a waste of taxpayers' money?

Is there a need to gut the very heart of our home, to chop down many of our friends in order to build the in-line skating court? Can't this in-line skating court be located at the open field together with the other courts so that we can be spared?

Please allow us to live. We can stand as a buffer between the noisy activities from the courts and the residents.

Please allow us to continue being a nature park where residents, both young and old, can take a quiet stroll and enjoy nature right at their doorstep.

We understand that not everyone is into strenuous sports. We appeal to you, Mr Wong Kan Seng and the other decision-makers, to temper the zeal for urban development with a little mercy for us.

There are courts for sports and recreational activities everywhere one cares to look in Singapore.

But a slice of nature like our home here, right in the middle of bustling traffic and blocks of flats, is rare indeed.

Please listen to our plea!

Today Online 24 May 07
Conserve green areas in HDB estates
Letter from Thierry Tan

I am heartened by recent reports about the Government's move to set up three public gardens in the Marina area by 2010.

But amid the flurry of activity to step up "greening" of the city area, the conservation of parks in our Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates seems to have been overlooked.

I am a resident in Bishan East Zone 1 and I was shocked to hear that the park at the junction of Bishan and Braddell roads would be converted into a "family park" comprising facilities for, among other things, street soccer, inline skating and skateboarding, as well as basketball courts and a children's playground.

The present park, though small, helps to block out noise and dust from vehicles that use the neighbouring Braddell flyover. It provides fresh air and a place to relax for residents many of whom are elderly who take walks and exercise there in the mornings and evenings.

The park also has many mature trees that have become like old friends to the residents here, besides providing a haven for birds and squirrels.

Conserving the green lung here is essential as it helps to cool down the environment, especially as the blocks here are built very close to each other and there is a busy flyover just next to the blocks.

We already have a basketball court and exercise corner beside a neighbouring block (Block 102) and they are under-utilised. Is there really a need to build more of such facilities? I also worry about the resulting noise from activities such as street soccer, skateboarding and inline skating.

I hope something can be done to preserve this small but useful park.

Today Online 29 May 07
Bishan Family Park decision pending survey results
Letter from Lee Boon Leng Executive Manager (Corporate Services) Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council

I refer to Mr Thierry Tan's letter, "Conserve green areas in HDB estates" (May 24).

Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council works in partnership with the Citizens Consultative Committee (CCC), a grassroots organisation, to improve the residents' living environment.

Before we proceed to implement a project, we will consult the residents concerned for their views.

This is the case with the Bishan Family Park where the Bishan East CCC conducted a survey of 16 blocks (approximately 1,489 households) from May 14 to 18 this year for the residents' consensus before we can proceed with the next course of action.

We would like to emphasise that the project is still at the design stage and nothing has been confirmed until the survey results have been collated.

The Town Council is mindful of the lush greenery there and our designs for the proposed Family Park have already factored in the matured trees. In fact, based on the preliminary design, there will be more trees when the project is completed.

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