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Guideline on Minimum Plot Size for Party-Wall Residential Flat Developments

  Published: 28 February 2014
Circular No : URA/PB/2014/04-DCG
Our Ref : DC/ADMIN/CIRCULAR/PB_14
Fax : 6227 4792

CIRCULAR TO PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTES


Who Should Know:
Building owners, developers and architects

Effective Date:
With effect from 01 Jun 2014

Background

  1. URA introduced the minimum plot size requirement of 1000sqm for stand-alone flat developments islandwide on 24 Nov 2011 (https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/circulars/2011/nov/dc11-14). The introduction of the guidelines have  facilitated better quality residential flat developments with more space available for communal facilities and greenery, and wider spacing between buildings.
  2. Currently, the minimum plot size control of 1000 sqm is not applicable to party-wall flat developments, which are residential blocks built from wall to wall with no spacing between the adjacent blocks. Many of such existing party-wall streetblocks are located in dense urban contexts where historically, housing forms of existing developments are small terrace landed houses or shopflat developments. 
  3. Without a minimum plot size control, we have observed a trend in small plots, some as small as 150 sqm (approximately the size of a typical terrace house plot) being redeveloped into higher and more intensive party-wall flats in areas where flat development can be allowed under the Master Plan. Mechanical car parks are often incorporated in these developments to support the increased number of units within a small site and to overcome space constraints on the ground floor. The mechanised car park stacks often occupy the entire ground floor, leaving little space for other communal facilities. The layout of residential units in such developments also tends to be small and narrow, as units are hemmed in by the mechanised carpark stack, staircase core and lift core. The proliferation of such small plot size developments, if left unchecked, can lead to the deterioration of the streetscape and the living environment.
  4. We have consulted REDAS, SIA and SIP on the new requirement. They generally agreed that a minimum plot size requirement is necessary to safeguard the quality of such party-wall residential streetblocks. URA has carried out the study on the appropriate minimum plot size for party-wall flat developments, and will be introducing the new guidelines as detailed in the paragraphs below. 

Details of Guidelines

  1. A minimum plot size of 600 sqm will be introduced for all new proposed residential party-wall flat developments to safeguard the quality of the living environment in party-wall residential streetblocks.
  2. Given the denser and more urbanised form of party-wall flat developments, the minimum plot size for party-wall flat developments is pegged at 600sqm, which is lower than the minimum plot size of 1000sqm for stand-alone flat developments. With a minimum plot size of 600sqm, there is sufficient flexibility for the provision of better communal space and car parking facilities within the residential party-wall flat developments.
  3. To ensure that the redevelopment of existing party wall plots does not compromise the development potential and quality of left behind plots, the aggregate land area of the left behind plots must also satisfy the minimum plot size of 600 sqm before the redevelopment proposal can be approved.
  4. An infill plot between two existing party wall flat developments, which has a site area of less than 600sqm, can be given the flexibility for redevelopment into a party-wall flat development if the applicant can demonstrate that the proposed development can still achieve a reasonable residential layout.

Implementation

  1. To give the industry sufficient notice, the new guideline will take effect three months from the date of this circular, i.e. from 01 Jun 2014, for all relevant applications involving new erections of residential party-wall flat developments. Only formal development applications (excluding Outline Applications) submitted prior to 01 Jun 2014 which have already been granted Provisional Permission or which will result in a Provisional Permission will continue to be evaluated under the old guidelines1.
  2. For submissions received during the three-month grace period, URA will continue to assess the overall layout, design and unit sizes of all party-wall flat proposals, and may impose requirements where necessary to ensure that the living environment of such proposals is not compromised.
  3. I would appreciate 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 call our Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 or e-mail us at ura_dcd@ura.gov.sg. We will be pleased to answer queries on this subject and any other development control matters. For your information, our past circulars to the professional institutes are available from our website http://www.ura.gov.sg.

 

Thank You.

HAN YONG HOE
GROUP DIRECTOR (DEVELOPMENT CONTROL)
for CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Footnotes

1 Development applications submitted prior to 01 Jun 2014 resulting in an Advice or Refusal of Written Permission (RWP) will be evaluated based on the new guidelines upon resubmission after the Advice or RWP.

 

 

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