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En-bloc redevelopments to require traffic impact study before approval: URA

POTENTIAL buyers, developers and real estate agencies who are submitting outline or development applications for en-bloc proposals now have to consult the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and submit a Pre-Application Feasibility Study (PAFS) to ascertain the maximum number of dwelling units post-redevelopment, in order not to strain the existing road network and cause congestion and inconvenience for residents.

This kicks in with immediate effect, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced in a circular to building owners, developers, architects, agencies as well as transport and traffic consultants on Monday.

In most collective sales, buyers often seek to increase the number of residential units either by building smaller homes or by intensifying the land use, building more units on the same plot of land.

For this latest rule change, the kinds of developments affected will include pure residential developments, residential developments with first-storey commercial components, and commercial and residential mixed-use developments.

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The PAFS will not be required for en-bloc redevelopment proposals that have already been granted outline planning permission, provisional permission or obtained LTA's clearance for transport impact assessment before Nov 13.

The URA said that it has received an increase in outline applications and development applications following the recent string of collective sales of residential properties proposing a significant increase in the number of dwelling units.

"There will be the need to consider how the redevelopment can bring changes to our physical environment in a manner that is more sustainable and aligned with our vision for a more liveable and car-lite city," it said.

The study thus assesses the traffic impact on the area and proposes car-lite initiatives, traffic demand management measures, and feasible transport improvement plans to support the redevelopment proposal.

This means that the traffic impact on the local infrastructure of the area will now be taken into consideration when calculating the maximum allowable number of unit for condominiums.

Applicants will have to submit the PAFS to the LTA for approval before submitting their outline application or development application to the URA. The URA will only be able to support the proposed number of dwelling units in the applications after the LTA approves the PAFS, it said.

This early assessment of maximum number of allowable units will reduce the need for plans adjustment during the development application stage and help expedite the approval process, the URA said.

It also means that potential buyers, interested parties, developers and agencies will have to engage an experienced traffic consultant to assess the transport impact and recommend a development proposal that is car-lite in nature, it added.