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Envelope Control Guidelines for Landed Housing

  Published: 11 February 2015
Circular No : URA/PB/2015/02-DCG
Fax : 6227 4792


Who Should Know:
Developers, architects and engineers

Effective Date:
With effect from 11 May 2015

  1. URA will introduce a new set of envelope control guidelines to guide the redevelopment of landed houses. URA’s existing landed housing guidelines have played a significant role in shaping the streetscape and safeguarding the amenity of Singapore’s landed housing estates. The new guidelines are a response to changing lifestyle needs, and are formulated with inputs from landed house owners and professionals from the building industry. We had piloted the new guidelines on a landed housing area in Sembawang Greenvale.
  2. The new envelope control guidelines will simplify the existing guidelines and provide developers and homeowners more flexibility in the design of landed housing while safeguarding the low-rise character of landed housing estates.
  3. The new guidelines adopt a volumetric approach, where the allowable building massing of landed houses is guided by the permissible building envelope. The latter serves as a three-dimensional limit within which a landed house can be designed. It is determined by a combination of setbacks from the road and common plot boundaries, as well as the allowable height for the house. Figure 1 shows the envelope control for two and three-storey landed houses. They have an overall height of 12.0 m and 15.5 m for two and three-storey landed houses respectively, with the topmost floor being 3.5 m high and set back from the front and rear building facade[1] as defined by the 45 degree line.

    Figure 1
  4. Within the building envelope, homeowners will now have flexibility to deviate from the existing planning guidelines to configure the interior space of their homes. The existing planning guidelines on the attic profile, basement protrusion, third storey setback and floor-to-floor height will no longer apply. For instance, homeowners can now vary floor to ceiling height to have a mix of spacious and compact spaces. They can also design the attic without the sloping roof and the basement to have more protrusion above ground, which will let in more ventilation and light. Annex A provides a pictorial overview of the new envelope control guidelines.
  5. The envelope control guidelines are meant to guide only the main building.  Hence, landed houses will continue to be subject to existing guidelines on other building features and appendages such as car porches, roof eaves and reinforced concrete ledges. In addition, the requirements of other agencies, especially those relating to construction standards and safety, will continue to apply.  As the envelope control guidelines are not intended to promote intensification, houses should continue to keep to the two-storey or three-storey height control applicable to the respective landed estates. This will continue to safeguard the character of our landed estates.


  1. We will be extending the new envelope control guidelines to all landed houses[2] island-wide. They will supersede the existing guidelines for proposals involving new erection or major reconstruction works to landed houses. However, minor Additions & Alterations (A&A) works to existing landed houses which were approved under the existing guidelines will continue to be evaluated under the existing guidelines.
  2. To give the industry sufficient notice of the change, the new guidelines will take effect three months from the date of this circular, i.e. from 11 May 2015, for all relevant applications involving new erection or reconstruction of landed housing developments. Only formal development applications (excluding Outline Applications) submitted before the effective date of 11 May 2015 that have been granted Provisional Permission or will result in a Provisional Permission will not be subjected to the new guidelines[3].
  3. URA can also accept development applications from applicants who wish to adopt the new envelope control guidelines during the three-month grace period.

Revised plan lodgment scheme for landed houses undertaking new erection/reconstruction 

  1. Under the existing Plan Lodgment Scheme for landed houses, home owners are allowed to submit their landed homes for lodgment without the need to apply for planning permission, as long as they comply fully with the lodgment criteria. Applicants may submit proposals under the new guidelines for lodgment from 11 May 2015 onwards as long as the proposal satisfies the following new lodgment criteria:
    1. Insertion of mezzanine or floors that do not exceed the allowable storey height control within the designated landed housing estates;
    2. Introduction of raised basement of not more than 1m from the existing ground level on all sides; and
    3. Compliance with the existing lodgment criteria as shown in Annex B.
    Proposals that do not satisfy the above lodgment criteria will need to be evaluated by URA through the submission of a development application.
  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 call our Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 or email us at For your information, past circulars and guidelines are available at our website


Thank You.



[1] URA will evaluate each case individually to minimise dis-amenity to the neighbouring properties.

[2] The envelope control guidelines will be applicable to all types of landed housing, including strata housing and Good Class Bungalows.

[3] Development applications submitted before the effective date of 11 May 2015 resulting in an Advice or Refusal of Written Permission (RWP) will be evaluated based on the revised guidelines upon resubmission after the Advice or RWP.

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