Revision to the Outdoor Refreshment Areas (ORA) Guidelines along Singapore River Promenade for Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay

  Published: 08 July 2013
Circular No : URA/PB/2013/07-CUDG
Fax : 6220 3201


Who Should Know:
Architects, building owners, developers and business owners

Effective Date:
With effect from 8 July 2013 for a period of 5 years


  1. Over the years, the government have undertaken work to clean up Singapore River, construct promenades and bridges to enhance accessibility to the riverfront. In addition, landscaping and ambient lighting were put in. Following the successful conservation and restoration efforts for the waterfront historic shophouses and warehouses, guidelines to encourage ORAs (i.e. alfresco / outdoor dining areas) and Kiosks were drawn up in 1999 to enliven the riverfront.
  2. URA made periodic revisions to the guidelines, and the last review was done in Sep 2005 to address Boat Quay’s specific site context. This current review was carried out to update our guidelines to remain relevant to achieve the planning objective of enlivening the riverfront as a public space. The guidelines for the Outdoor Kiosks and ORA within Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay were reviewed with a view to enhancing visitors’ experience along Singapore River. The key considerations are to improve public access to the riverfront and to achieve more differentiated guidelines to enhance the distinct character of the two quays. The key revisions to the guidelines are summarised as follows:

    a.  ORAs will be allowed within the development-related zone only, with the exception of the Clarke Quay Conservation Area, to free up the riverfront for public access;
    b.  Second-storey ORAs will be be considered for Clarke Quay, with the exception of Clarke Quay Conservation Area;
    c.  The ORA frontage control is relaxed;
    d. Outdoor kiosks will not be approved to minimise the extent of physical structures along the riverfront;
    e.  The design of the allowable shelters for Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay are differentiated; and
    f.  The Bonus GFA scheme to ORAs for selected developments fronting the promenade and pedestrian malls are extended.

    Please see Annex 1 for the detailed guidelines.


Additional submission requirement for ORAs fronting mixed commercial and residential developments

  1. To better balance the needs between the residents and business operators, applicants are required to notify the Management Corporation (MC) and to seek MC’s views before submitting the proposal to URA for planning approval. URA will also take into consideration planning, development control and other relevant factors for the ORA proposal.
  2. The revised guidelines will take effect from 8 July 2013 for a period of 5 years for all new ORA proposals and renewal of temporary applications.
  3. All proposals are to be submitted to our Development Control Group and each proposal will be evaluated based on the merits of the individual proposal.
  4. This circular supersedes the earlier circular URA/PB/2002/25-CUDD released on 2 Dec 2002 and is to be read in conjunction with the circular on “Framework for Managing Bonus Gross Floor Area Incentives” (Circular No: URA/PB/2009/03-DCG), that stipulates an overall 10% GFA bonus cap for each development.
  5. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this Circular to the relevant members of your organisation. If you or your members have any queries concerning this Circular, please do not hesitate to contact Senior Architect Ms Kimmy Cheung at Tel: 6321 8261 (email: or our Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 (email: We will be pleased to answer queries on this, and any other development control matters. For your information, our past Circulars to the professional institutes are available from at website
Thank You.


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