Following the Woodlands group who objected to the building of an elder-care centre at the void deck of their HDB blocks, residents at Toh Yi estate voiced their grouses on 8 February against similar intentions for a plot of land at the junction of Toh Yi Road and Toh Yi Drive.
On 5 March, HDB officials distributed a circular to all the 1,600 residents in the area confirming it will stick to its original plan to build a block of 130 studio apartments, despite howls of protest and a signed petition. It rejected alternative sites suggested by 230 residents in the estate,including one just 20m away near Block 17 instead. MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Sim Ann described HDB's decision as "a reasonable outcome that addresses the overall interests of residents in our estate".
On 1 April, the signboard is already is in place. Notice the dateline for application is 3 April - gives you the feeling that the plan was in place all along. The writing is literally on the wall. Sim Ann's "reasonable outcome" is not too dissimilar from BG Tan's. When Irving C. Johnson, who started the save Bukit Brown petition, called on the government to conserve what little is left of local history, the reply was a simplistic “Bukit Brown is needed in the future for housing." Quite likely the alternate sites for the Toh Yi project are also "needed for housing", as in more money to be made from private development instead of public housing requirements.
|Click to see the big rush to get it done|