Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on whether an independent environmental impact assessment has been conducted on the development plans for Dover Forest
Sep 14, 2021
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development whether an independent environmental impact assessment has been conducted on the development plans for Dover Forest and, if not, whether it can be conducted before any development takes place there.
The Ulu Pandan site, known to the public as ‘Dover Forest’, is a 33-ha site earmarked for residential development in URA’s Master Plan since 2003. As part of the planning process, development proposals are subject to an evaluation of the potential impact to the environment, as well as other factors such as traffic and public health. Based on the site context and advice from Technical Agencies for this development proposal, HDB engaged an external consultant to conduct an Environmental Baseline Study (EBS) to understand the existing topography, flora, fauna and hydrology within the site. The EBS also guides HDB’s development plans and identifies existing habitats to retain within the site. HDB had engaged nature groups extensively and iteratively to seek their feedback on the EBS findings as well as the proposed treatment for the site in response to the EBS findings. The EBS report was also published online to take in public feedback, with the feedback period extended by an additional 4 weeks to allow the public more time to share their views.
Based on the findings from the EBS, feedback from nature groups and the public, as well as NParks’ Ecological Profiling Exercise, HDB has revised their urban planning and design strategies for Ulu Pandan, taking a holistic and science-based approach to balance development and nature conservation in Singapore. The revised conceptual development plans were announced earlier in July. Measures include putting off the development plans for the western half of Ulu Pandan in the medium term to be reviewed again in about 10 years’ time, while agencies work towards safeguarding a sizeable nature park within the western half of Ulu Pandan which is richer in biodiversity compared to the eastern half of the site. The nature park will serve as an ecological connector and habitat between Clementi Forest and the Southern Ridges, as well as to complement the connectivity along the Rail Corridor in the vicinity of Ulu Pandan, which is one of the two ecological corridors identified in NParks’ Ecological Profiling Exercise. Additionally, a Green Corridor, measuring up to 40 metres wide at some stretches, along Ulu Pandan Canal, is also proposed to be established to serve as an ecological corridor to facilitate wildlife movement along Sungei Ulu Pandan.
HDB will be engaging a specialist consultant to develop an Environmental Monitoring and Management Plan (EMMP), which will mitigate and manage any potential environmental impact arising from the infrastructure works, and closely monitor the works from start to end.