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Sky gardens are intended to be open and accessible
Sky gardens are intended to be open and accessible
Date: 23 Dec 2021
We refer to the letters by Mr Lionel Seng, “Do more to manage crowds at SkyVille@Dawson’s rooftop gardens” (Dec 4), and Ms Tan Ee Leen, “Let public have access to rooftop gardens” (Dec 10). HDB estates are designed with community spaces to encourage social interactions and facilitate recreational activities, and sky gardens are an example of such spaces. They are intended to be open and accessible for both residents and the public to use, and not just residents of the block or estate.
As is the case for void decks and other common areas in HDB estates, public access is not restricted for sky gardens. For residential blocks that are above 40 storeys, sky gardens also serve as a safe holding area in case of a fire. This is a fire safety regulatory requirement. For Pinnacle@Duxton, it was assessed at the project design stage that there was a need to limit access to its skybridges. This was in view of various factors, such as the development’s central location, its iconic status as the tallest HDB residential building in Singapore, as well as the novelty of the panoramic city views on offer. Each of these factors, being unique to this project, will attract crowds.
In the case of sky gardens at SkyVille@Dawson and other existing HDB developments, there are no plans to restrict access as doing so would fundamentally alter the open and inclusive character of our HDB estates. Nonetheless, we acknowledge the potential for disamenities at sky gardens. HDB, together with the Tanjong Pagar Town Council and the relevant agencies, has stepped up patrols at the Skyville@Dawson sky gardens to address feedback from residents on crowding there.
Since September, six notices of composition have been issued against individuals who flouted Covid-19 safe management measures. The crowd situation at the sky gardens has since improved. We will continue to support the Tanjong Pagar Town Council and residents’ committee to monitor and manage the situation. Residents who have non-urgent municipal issues to report, or observe breaches in safe management measures at the sky gardens, may submit their feedback via the OneService app.
Ong Jia Yang
General Manager (Queensway Branch)
Housing and Development Board
Do more to manage crowds at SkyVille @ Dawson's rooftop gardens
Date: 4 Dec 2021
From: Lionel Seng
I'm a resident of SkyVille@Dawson.
Having seen several of my neighbours volunteering to assist the residents' committee in checking the rooftop gardens to ensure there is no overcrowding, smoking, littering or noise pollution and that people adhere to safe management measures, I'm disappointed in my town council's inability to manage crowds at the gardens.
The reply the town council has given me is that the rooftop gardens are public spaces and all owners have signed a lease purchase agreement with the Housing Board acknowledging the gardens are meant for public use. There is nothing any owner or resident can do.
SkyVille@Dawson residents pay a premium of 60 to 70 per cent more compared with usual HDB town council fees for the upkeep of the estate, rates identical to those at Pinnacle@Duxton, which also has rooftop gardens.
However, those living at Pinnacle@Duxton do not face the same crowding issue as members of the public have to pay $6 to access their rooftop gardens.
The rooftop gardens at Pinnacle@Duxton have also been prudently closed to the public since the start of the pandemic for the welfare and health of residents.
In contrast, the rooftop gardens at SkyVille@Dawson, in the same group representation constituency as Pinnacle@Duxton, are open to all.
Crowds on National Day and during the New Year countdown have posed a nuisance for SkyVille@Dawson residents yearly since the development was completed.
I often see groups of non-residents carrying snacks and alcohol going up in lifts to level 47. Parents with children and seniors are also fearful of the potential spread of Covid-19 with many others sharing the same lifts.
If Pinnacle@Duxton can resolve the issue by charging the public and regulating the crowd, more can be done using a similar framework without needing nightly and weekly enforcement by volunteers and agencies.
This is not sustainable in the long term as this is a cat and mouse game. It's a temporary solution, not a permanent one.
This issue has been unresolved for six years. I hope the relevant agencies and Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs can do more to have a comprehensive permanent solution.
Let public have access to rooftop gardens
Date: 10 Dec 2021
From: Tan Ee Leen
I am writing in response to the Forum letter “Do more to manage crowds at SkyVille@Dawson’s rooftop gardens” (Dec 4). The rooftop gardens of public housing estates are meant for public use and should not be exclusive to the residents of the estate.
The writer mentioned better crowd management at Pinnacle@Duxton, where members of the public have to pay $6 to access the rooftop gardens. I feel that this is an unfair arrangement as public housing is subsidised by public funds.