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1,900 BTO flats along the Rail Corridor in Choa Chu Kang to be launched in early October

SINGAPORE – About 1,900 build-to-order (BTO) flats in two developments in Choa Chu Kang – with a waiting time of up to four years – will be launched in early October.

The Rail Corridor will run along and through the two projects, Rail Green I and Rail Green II @ CCK, which comprise 12 blocks ranging from 13 to 31 storeys.

Larger flats – five-room and three-generation units – will be offered.

Rail Green I @ CCK, which will have more than 870 units, has a waiting time of three years and three months – one of the shortest in the upcoming sales exercise, the Housing Board said on Sunday.

The two developments will take on a railway-inspired theme to pay homage to the area’s history, HDB added.

The Rail Green precinct will have a train-themed playground and a pavilion inspired by old train platforms. Walkways throughout the area will feature designs that resemble railway tracks.

Trains on the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway line, built in 1903, ran through Choa Chu Kang until operations stopped in 2011. The former railway track is now the Rail Corridor, a popular hiking trail.

Units will be oriented to offer panoramic views of Pang Sua Canal and a linear green area that runs along it “as much as possible for residents to enjoy green living”, HDB said.

“These efforts will contribute to a lush environment and a sense of openness, providing relief and recreational opportunities to support residents’ health and well-being,” it said.

The Rail Green precinct will have a train-themed playground and a pavilion inspired by old train platforms. PHOTO: HDB

Green spaces were not part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s 2019 masterplan for the site. But in a July 2022 report, HDB said it decided to retain 2ha of existing greenery along the canal after an environmental study and public feedback.

HDB said it would also conserve healthy, mature tree clusters and species of conservation significance to enhance biodiversity. It will build paths connecting the linear green area and the Rail Corridor.

The developments, located near Bukit Panjang MRT station, will have an eating house, a supermarket, a pre-school and a residents’ network centre.

The third sales exercise of the year – typically held in August – was pushed back to October because the ballot results for the May BTO launch were delayed.

System glitches in that launch had resulted in HDB extending it by three days.

A total of 6,800 flats will be launched in the October sales exercise, with the other projects in Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown and Tengah.

HDB advised applicants to avoid rushing to apply for a flat during peak periods, such as the first two days of the sales launch. It did not reveal the launch date.

It said applicants will be directed to a virtual waiting room when there is high traffic to the application page.

In the May sales launch, potential buyers had complained of a two-hour wait to enter the website on launch day.

HDB said on Sunday that there was no queue in the virtual waiting room after the third day of that launch.

Measures announced earlier to help first-timer families will take effect from the upcoming sales exercise.

These include setting aside more flats for those with Singaporean children aged 18 and below, as well as married couples aged 40 and under.

Applicants under this new First-Timer (Parents and Married Couples) priority category will also get one extra ballot chance in their BTO and Sale of Balance Flats applications, for a total of three chances.

Under tightened rules that kick in from this sales exercise, first-timer applicants who do not select a BTO flat when invited to do so will be considered second-timers in subsequent flat applications for a year.

Previously, first-timers, who have better chances at balloting for a flat, would be moved to the second-timer category for a year only if they did not book a BTO flat twice.

The final sales exercise of 2023, which will be held in December, will offer about 6,300 flats in Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang, Jurong West, Queenstown and Woodlands.