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NEA launches Woodlands site for development of funeral parlour

SINGAPORE'S National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday launched a land parcel at Woodlands Industrial Park E8 for the development of a purpose-built funeral parlour complex. 

The land parcel, with a site area of 5,002.8 square metres, was launched through the Housing & Development Board (HDB), NEA said in a statement. The tender will close at noon on Nov 5.

The complex is expected to be operational about four years after the tender award. When completed, it will offer a "holistic range" of services to the public, NEA said. 

The complex will house 10 to 14 wake halls, embalming facilities, and have the option to provide space for related commercial use, the sale of funerary goods and paraphernalia, as well as a florist and a food and beverage outlet.

NEA and HDB have stipulated requirements in the conditions of tender to ensure the complex is "sensitively designed", and its operations provide a smooth and dignified experience for mourning families while minimising disamenities to stakeholders in the vicinity, NEA said.

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It added that the successful tenderer’s development proposal will be subject to a design review process.

For instance, funerary activities including rituals and funeral processions will be kept within the compound of the facility, with appropriate visual screening to keep funeral activities discreet.

A centralised burning chamber will also be made available within the facility for paper offerings, and no open-air burning will be permitted.

Parking facilities will be provided within the facility, and traffic management plans will be implemented to mitigate potential traffic disamenities during peak periods, NEA added.

The Woodlands land parcel is the first of the four sites to be launched for funeral parlour complexes.

The other three sites are the industrial area along Bukit Batok Street 23, along Ang Mo Kio Street 63 near the SBS Transit bus depot, and along Mandai Road near the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium.

In January 2019, NEA announced the four sites would be progressively launched over the next decade or so to meet an anticipated growth in demand for after-death facilities and services as Singapore's population ages.

The number of resident deaths in Singapore is projected to increase to around 40,000 by 2040, NEA said. It added that it will continue to work with agencies to meet the long-term demand for funeral spaces and ensure they are ready ahead of demand.

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