Clarification of Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA) guidelines and streamlined application process for Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay

  Published: 31 December 2015
Circular No : URA/PB/2015/12-CUDG


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

Effective Date:
With immediate effect for a period of 5 years

  1. This circular serves to clarify the ORA guidelines and informs the Food & Beverage (F&B) operators of the streamlined submission process for application for ORAs along the Singapore River promenade at Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay.
  2. Singapore River is a popular precinct known for its riverfront dining offerings and riverine promenade. URA reviews the ORA guidelines and application processes for the precinct periodically, to better serve the needs of the F&B operators, as well as enhance the pedestrian experience along the riverfront promenade.

Clarification of guidelines on the extent of allowable ORA

  1. The ORAs, i.e. alfresco / outdoor dining areas are located on spaces that are shared by patrons of F&B establishments and pedestrians, as well as the Fire Safety Bureau in times of emergencies. The allowable extent of the ORAs is hence largely guided by technical requirements such as the minimum width for fire engine access along the promenade. This also applies to ORAs within developments. Applicants should ensure that the proposed ORA complies with the requirements and clearances of technical agencies, including and not limited to:
    • Fire Safety Bureau,
    • Singapore Land Authority,
    • National Parks Board,
    • Land Transport Authority for,
    • National Environment Authority,
    • Public Utilities Board, and etc.

      Please refer to Annex 1 for the detailed guidelines.

Streamlined application process

  1. In the past, operators applying for ORAs within mixed use developments with residential units were required to seek the views of the Management Corporations (MCs) of the developments before submitting the proposal to URA. Arising from feedback, operators no longer need to seek the MC’s views for each application, but should continue to inform the MCs where necessary.


  1. The changes will take immediate effect for a period of 5 years and will apply to all new ORA proposals and renewal of temporary permission applications.
  2. 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 email our Urban Planning & Design Department at  You can also call our Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 or email us at For your information, our past circulars to the professional institutes are available from our website
Thank You.


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