I been enjoying running at Coney Island since it opened. It is a nice little place and when I said little, it is really small. From the West Gate to the East Gate, it is just about 2.5 km long. And at its widest, it is probably not more than 500 metres wide. Such a small little and beautiful island and after its re-opening in October last year, I was glad that it has not been fully spruced up into a artificial park but was left rather wild and rustic.
So I was shocked when I read this letter in the ST on 13 January 2016 where the writer appealed to the authorities not to proceed with plans to build residential buildings on it. I nearly fell off my chair when I read this. Build houses on that small puny little island? A check on the URA Master Plan and I was shocked! A portion of the island has been earmarked for residential development. WTF!
Coney Island is generally divided into 2 by the main path.
On the right is the bigger portion, the sea fronting side with the beaches, toilet and trails. On the left is a small stretch of land facing Punggol. Apparently that small stretch of land is the reserved land for the building. That piece in my estimate is not even 100 metres wide! How many houses can they possibly build there on such a small area!
I am absolutely disgusted. My guess is some smart alec from the URA decided that Coney Island can be a mini Sentosa Cove and so will be suitable for private housing. The problem is, with the houses, there will have to be a proper access road and some basic amenities. If this plan goes ahead, the whole rustic nature of Coney Island will be totally destroyed.
What I cannot comprehend is why the gahmen is in such a rush to build and build. Even if they are planning for the fucking 6.9m, there is still no need to build on every little sliver of land available. At the current moment, there is a big oversupply of residential houses. This January 2015 article in the Today paper stated the position very clearly. We do not need to build so many houses even if the crazy gahmen decides to go ahead with the 6.9m.
Already in HDB estates all over, HDB flats have sprung up on the small vacant corner lands fronting the road. In Pasir Ris, the forest along Drive 3 has almost disappeared except for one small stretch before the new bus depot. The rest has been taken up by condo after condo most of which as I understand are still not 100% sold. Ditto Yishun. Punggol is another example where the once open and beautiful Waterway is now sandwiched between row and row of apartment blocks.
Are we so short of houses that we freaking need to build and build? I hope the new Minister for Housing will do something but I am not holding my breathe for it. Sadly!