Tuesday 22 November 2011

New-look Punggol Point: Waterfront buzz

Former seafood haunt features a park, 1.2km section of promenade
By Jessica Lim & Shuli Sudderuddin, The Straits Times, 21 Nov 2011

PUNGGOL Point - once home to popular seafood restaurants in the 1980s and 1990s - is ready to show off its spruced-up new face.

The 0.6ha Punggol Point Park was officially opened in the area yesterday, and with it, a 1.2km section of the Punggol Promenade, called Punggol Point Walk.

The park also features two lily ponds and a sand-filled playground.

The old seafood restaurants are gone, but in their place is a 300 sq m viewing deck giving visitors views of Pulau Ubin and the Strait of Johor.

Land measuring 11,000 sq ft in area has been set aside there for food and beverage outlets, which may well be set up later.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC overseeing this north-east corner of Singapore, said these facilities represent the Government's commitment to building 'wonderful, affordable homes for Singaporeans'.

He was meeting about 2,300 residents from the area who had turned up at the park for a senior citizens' sports day.

The latest facilities, built by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, follow the March opening of the 1.3km Riverside Walk section of the promenade, which runs along the banks of Serangoon Reservoir.

The cycling and jogging tracks, food outlets and lookout points of Riverside Walk, set near the Lorong Halus Wetland, are all part of the plan to make Punggol a waterfront housing estate.

More is to follow: A 2.5km nature walk zone will open next year.

Punggol Promenade links Punggol Point and Punggol East and connects further south with the park connectors along Serangoon Reservoir and Punggol Reservoir, making up 17km of the north-eastern part of the Park Connector Network.

Mr Teo, referring to Punggol Point Park and Punggol Point Walk, noted that the facilities were developed in consultation with residents and grassroots leaders.

The area's seafood restaurants were a part of his childhood, he told residents.

'This place was always farmland, and not many people were living here. It had a completely different character.

'Now we have transformed this place,' he said.

But a nod has also been given to the history of Punggol amid all these developments: The tree-lined road leading to Punggol Point Walk has been earmarked as a heritage road.

Bishan resident Tay Siew Kian, 50, visiting the park with her sister, a Punggol resident, said: 'The park is very pretty. I'll probably come here often with my sister to take walks.'

Grassroots leader Rebecca Tan said the Punggol 21 Community Club plans to ferry senior citizens to the park by bus for brisk-walking sessions; sports events will also be held there.

Punggol East MP Michael Palmer said: 'Sengkang and Punggol are getting a lot more populated. You see a lot more congestion in terms of traffic and living space. It's important in this sort of urban environment that people have space to go take a walk and feel some open scenery. This creates that space.'

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