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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY, RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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URA allows business operations in some Tiong Bahru residential sites

They will address infringement cases of businesses operating in residential sites without approval.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will rezone some residential sites in Tiong Bahru to ‘residential with commercial at first storey’, an announcement revealed.

“This is to recognise existing businesses with approvals and specify where commercial uses are allowed in the estate, while sustaining its residential amenity,” URA explained.

Amongst 800 homes within the estate, about 120 are presently authorised to conduct businesses in their first storeys. With the area conserved mostly within the conserved pre-war Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) flats, the enterprises include F&B outlets. Restaurants, retail shops, and some service providers.

According to the agency, residences with businesses in their first storeys operate on different approval bases. More than half are on land zoned ‘Residential with Commercial at 1st Storey’ under URA’s Master Plan.

In addition, 28 units with residential zoning have been authorised to operate business in their first storeys businesses based on approvals given by agencies over the past decades.

“These approvals include Written Permission by URA from the 1960s to 1970s, and leases issued by the SIT from the late-1940s,” URA noted. “The 28 units are mostly located between Eng Hoon Street and Eng Watt Street, and have over time become an integral part of the estate’s fabric.”

Meanwhile, the agency also discovered that some businesses have been operating without approval in areas meant only for residential purposes.

“URA is engaging the affected business operators and owners/tenants to work with them to address the infringements,” the agency commented.

The agency released a map of the estate in which they outlined sites to be rezoned in blue color.

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