War over walkway

War over walkway
A part of the 20m walkway separating Thomson Garden and Shunfu Ville estate was demolished on Tuesday.

A privatised HUDC estate's unilateral decision to demolish a walkway that served as a shortcut for residents of Thomson Garden has sparked outrage from residents and frustration from their MP.

The 20m walkway had been used as a shortcut for nearly 50 years by Thomson Garden residents, who now have to walk more than 500m on an alternative route to get to Shunfu market.

In a vote, 328 out of 336 Shunfu Ville households decided to demolish the walkway at an extraordinary general meeting on Nov 16. Shunfu Ville was formerly a Housing and Urban Development Company estate.

The Member of Parliament (MP) of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mrs Josephine Teo, told The New Paper that the demolition of the walkway threw a spanner in the works in her attempts to broker peace between the two estates.

Said Mrs Teo: "It is a shame that the footpath, which had been used by so many people over the years, has to be taken away like that."

In fact, lawyers TNP spoke to said that residents may have a legal right of access.

When asked whether this was an example of bad neighbourliness, the MP said: "It should not be difficult at all for Shunfu Ville to keep the footpath open for Thomson Garden residents."

Thomson Garden neighbourhood committee (NC), supported by Mrs Teo, submitted three proposals at three separate times to Shunfu Ville's management, but failed to receive any reply.

Said NC chairman Eugene Lee: "We've been pursuing this for the last three years, we tried to do this for our residents but it did not materialise."

He said that the lack of communication was "disappointing".

When approached by TNP, Shunfu Ville's management committee, the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST), declined to comment.

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