SINGAPORE: Jurong Lake Gardens West, the first phase of development of the new Jurong Lake Gardens, will be completed in 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Sunday (Oct 25).
The first phase was originally scheduled for completion in 2017. However, following a public engagement exercise which saw more than 17,700 suggestions submitted, Mr Tharman said there is more work to be done.
The public consultation exercise, which ended in May this year, saw members of the public submitting suggestions such as preserving the tranquility of the area, retaining existing nature and biodiversity hotspots, provision of ample basic amenities and careful traffic planning to mitigate potential traffic congestion. Many also asked for wifi hotspots within the Gardens.
“There was a very a strong preference to retain the natural ambience and what NParks is going to do is to have a lot more nature compared to what we already have today,” said Mr Tharman. “(There will be) a lot more trees, a lot more water coming into the land.”
He added: “We have been doing hydrological studies of Jurong Lake Gardens West to study how swamps will naturally form and how water will naturally flow so it is really going to be a beautiful place.
“We have got very important collections of birds here and NParks is going to create a heron island in Jurong Lake Gardens West which will ensure that we retain our herons.”
The development of Jurong Lake Gardens West will begin early next year, the National Parks Board (NParks) said.
Parts of Jurong Lake Gardens West will remain open to the public throughout the development so that residents can continue recreational activities like jogging and walking. There will also be continued access to the Chinese and Japanese Gardens.
The two gardens will eventually form the Jurong Lake Gardens Central. This phase of development will be progressively completed from 2020, along with Jurong Lake Gardens East, which will house the new Science Centre, Mr Tharman said.
The entire Jurong Lake Gardens development, when completed, will span 90 hectares – equivalent to 144 football fields.