Serangoon Gardens has good eats, quaint charm

Serangoon Gardens has good eats, quaint charm
Some residents find the estate's disorganised development, such as this big house towering over a smaller, single-storey one, an eyesore.

The shutters are coming down for good at Seng Hin - Serangoon Gardens' last provision shop.

After toiling for over half a century, 70-year-old owner Koh Guan Hock has decided to call it a day next month.

"I am too old to continue the business and I don't want my only son to take over this dwindling trade."

But shops like Seng Hin, which was started by Mr Koh's father-in-law in the early 1950s to serve the British airmen and families who lived there, are part of the estate's charm, said piano teacher Catherine Ding.

"People know about Chomp Chomp food centre here and the roundabout, but for residents, the shophouses are also worth preserving," said the 63-year-old who has lived in Serangoon Gardens all her life.

"You can't tear them down and build 10-storey buildings."

She seems to have had her wish after the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) last week picked Serangoon Gardens as an "identity node". The status guarantees that future development plans will not erode the estate's character and charm.

Serangoon Gardens, nestled between Ang Mo Kio avenues 1 and 3, off the Central Expressway, was designed by British developer Steven Charles Macey between 1952 and 1954.

He gave the roads quaint British names like Chartwell Drive - named after former British prime minister Winston Churchill's England home - and Portchester Avenue, after a small suburb in his home country.

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