Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for National Development (a) whether, pursuant to Section 10(2b) of the Planning Act and Rule 6(1) of the Planning (Master Plan) Rules, objections or representations submitted by members of the public regarding Bukit Brown in the Draft Master Plan 2013 were ruled as frivolous; (b) if not, why was no hearing or public inquiry held before the gazetting of the 2014 Master Plan; and (c) whether such hearings can be made public.
Mr Desmond Lee: The Government regularly seeks and receives public feedback on development plans through various channels, including the exhibition process for amendments to the Master Plan. All feedback from the different channels are carefully studied and incorporated into our plans, where feasible.
This was also done in the case of Bukit Brown. Based on public feedback received after plans on Lornie Highway were announced, LTA revised the design to incorporate a viaduct for a section of the road at higher cost, so as to further mitigate the impact on the existing cemetery and natural environment. On feedback received during the exhibition period for the Draft Master Plan 2013, then-Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan had stated in response to a similar Parliamentary Question in July 2014 that we had considered all feedback received and where feasible, these had been incorporated into our plans.
The Government has continued to take on board public feedback, including ways to commemorate the history and heritage of Bukit Brown. Since 2014, we have been working together with stakeholders from heritage groups on various projects such as the documentation of Bukit Brown artefacts. NHB also recently supported a project by Singapore Heritage Society to produce 3D scans of unearthed artefacts.
We will continue to carefully review public feedback and partner with stakeholders to shape our development plans, to strike a careful balance between protecting our built and natural heritage and developing our city to meet the needs of current and future generations.
Ministry of National Development
10 January 2022