The Paya Lebar Air Base’s planned relocation in 2030 will open the Paya Lebar area for redevelopment not only into the base’s land, but also in existing commercial areas, Singapore Minister of Development Lawrence Wong said Thursday.
Wong was speaking at the official opening of the Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) mixed-use development, which combines office, retail and residential space with public gathering places.
“This is just the start of the larger and ever-continuing story of the transformation of Paya Lebar,” Wong said, noting that PLQ was an example of changed thinking in city planning, which previously segregated workspaces from residential and retail areas, resulting in long commutes.
Wong said that moving the air base would free up 800 hectares of land for development, a space around the size of Bishan town.
In addition, industrial estates in the area can also be redeveloped, for space the equivalent of 2.5 times Bishan town, he said.
Wong also noted that Paya Lebar’s buildings have faced height restrictions due to the air base.
“We can build higher,” Wong said. “When the airbase moves out, we will lift the height restrictions and many of the buildings around us which are 10-15 stories can double in height easily. So this will provide many opportunities to redevelop not just in terms of land, but also upwards as well.”
The area will also benefit from improved travel connections once the air base has moved, Wong noted, as currently transportation options must go around the base, rather than through it.