4 new parks included in Labrador Nature Park network; 2 will be ready with Greater Southern Waterfront flats

You are currently viewing 4 new parks included in Labrador Nature Park network; 2 will be ready with Greater Southern Waterfront flats
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  • Post last modified:April 24, 2022

The Labrador and Alexandra areas will get four new parks – two by around 2025 – as part of plans to improve wildlife connectivity between Labrador Nature Reserve and its surrounding green spaces.

These new parks will come under a new Labrador Nature Park Network announced by National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Tuesday (April 12).

Covering more than 200ha, the new network comprises 11 sites, including the four new parks, six existing ones and Labrador Nature Reserve.

As part of the plans, Pasir Panjang Park will be extended – by end-2022 – to link the nature reserve to West Coast Park, which lies outside the network. In the future, the park will also feature a waterfront extension at Pasir Panjang Power District.

Of the four new parks, the first to be ready will be a 0.4ha park at King’s Dock, which will be completed by 2024.

It will be followed in around 2025 by the 2ha Alexandra Nature Park, which will feature a 500m trail set in a natural forest valley.

Alexandra Nature Park

The last two new parks will be completed in tandem with housing developments in the site currently occupied by Keppel Club. On Tuesday, Mr Lee said about 6,000 HDB flats will be built in the 48ha site.

One of the parks – the 6.5ha Berlayer Creek Nature Park – will comprise the existing Berlayer Creek, as well as a 30m wide extension on the side of the creek adjacent to the future housing development on the Keppel Club site.

The National Parks Board said this extension will act as a buffer for the creek’s mangrove habitats.

The final park will be integrated with the new housing development. At about 7ha, it comprises four green corridors that run around the site’s perimeter, as well as between future housing blocks.

Mr Lee said development plans for Keppel Club were guided by an environmental impact study, given the site’s proximity to surrounding nature areas.

The study’s findings will be published for public feedback from Tuesday to May 11, and the Housing Board said public feedback and the study’s recommendations will be reviewed as it designs the new housing developments.

Nature Society (Singapore) president Shawn Lum said the development of the Keppel Club site offers opportunities to reinforce existing natural habitats in the area, as well as create new habitats and incorporate viable corridors for wildlife into a major public housing project.

He added that the society and others in the nature and conservation community have been part of ongoing discussions with the Government to search for solutions that allow people and nature “to thrive along our iconic southern coastline”.

Labrador Nature Park

On Tuesday, NParks said the establishment of Labrador Nature Park Network was guided by its ecological profiling exercise, which maps green areas around Singapore to better understand their role as a refuge for biodiversity, as well as how they contribute to ecological connectivity.

Nature park networks establish a network of green spaces around nature reserves. These act as buffers to the reserves and extend habitats for wildlife.

Singapore has two other networks, in Sungei Buloh and surrounding the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

In addition to nature park networks, nature corridors – which are meant to strengthen ecological connectivity and also comprise multiple green plots – have been established in various areas islandwide.

NParks said the new Labrador Nature Park Network complements Clementi Nature Corridor, which runs south of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and connects to the Alexandra and Labrador area.

Besides establishing the network to buffer Labrador Nature Reserve, NParks had previously announced other initiatives to enhance its rare and unique habitats, such as restoring its existing coastal hill forest and rocky shore – both are among the last few remaining habitats of their kind in mainland Singapore.

NParks said the ecological profiling exercise for the entire island is still in progress, and outcomes for the other sectors will be shared in due course.

Dr Lum said that with the announcement of development plans for Keppel Club, it will be important to also consider how an empty field that lies between Berlayer Creek and Labrador Nature Reserve will be developed in the future.

New parks for Labrador area

The site of about 10ha formerly housed an oil refinery. An Urban Redevelopment Authority spokesman said the site is zoned “Residential (Subject to Detailed Planning)”, adding that there are no immediate plans to develop the site, which has been leased out by the Singapore Land Authority for interim uses such as for aero modelling.

Dr Lum said this site is critical for the ecological integrity of the Labrador area, given that it links the nature reserve to Berlayer Creek’s mangroves, and added that it has “huge potential for forest restoration”.

Even if it were to be developed in the future, he said it is important that the authorities consider how green features can be incorporated into the area’s design like how plans for the Keppel Club site were made, as opposed to being inserted as an afterthought.

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