URA curbs excessive development of shoebox units

October 18, 2018 3:54 PM SGT
Effective Jan 17 next year, private residential developers will face restrictions in the maximum number of units that they can build for developments outside of the Central Region.
URA announced the new guidelines on Oct 17 to check the “excessive development of box units”. The authority wants developers to cater for the diverse needs of homebuyers, including larger families. The guidelines will also ensure that “local infrastructure will not be overly strained”.
Previously, the maximum number of residential units allowed was derived by dividing the gross floor area of the building by 70 sq m. Under the new guidelines, the number of permissible units will be derived by dividing the GFA by 85 sq m.
URA also identified nine areas where new developments could “pose a severe strain” on local infrastructure. In these areas, the maximum number of units allowed will be calculated by dividing the GFA by 100 sq m. The nine areas are Marine Parade (pictured), Joo Chiat-Mountbatten, Telok Kurau- Jalan Eunos, Balestier, Stevens-Chancery, Pasir Panjang, Kovan-How Sun, Shelford and Loyang. Currently, only four areas — Telok Kurau, Kovan, Joo Chiat and Jalan Eunos — are subject to stricter guidelines.
URA is also restricting the size of balcony spaces allowed in private non-landed residential homes, in view of “excessively large balconies” in some developments. The total balcony area for each unit allowed will be capped at 15% of the interior area. The move, which will also take effect from Jan 17, will provide homebuyers with more choices of units with and without balconies, it says. And the GFA cap for private outdoor spaces will be reduced from 10% to 7%.