Golf club to make way for high-speed rail terminus

Jurong Country Club will have to make way for the terminus of the high-speed rail (HSR) which will link Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

Spelling out project details yesterday, the authorities confirmed that the club will have to give up its 67ha plot - the size of more than 80 football fields - by November next year.

The terminus will sit about 600m from the current Jurong East MRT station. It will account for some 12ha, or about 20 per cent, of the site, which is bordered by the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Jurong Town Hall Road.

The remaining area will be redeveloped into a mixed-use precinct including offices, hotels, retail, family entertainment facilities and possibly residential units.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority's chief executive, Mr Ng Lang, said the site was chosen for its size, its connectivity with public transport and proximity to Jurong Gateway, which includes Westgate mall, the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the new Genting Hotel Jurong.

Mr Ng, who announced the location yesterday with Land Transport Authority chief executive Chew Men Leong and Singapore Land Authority chief executive Tan Boon Khai, said the HSR terminus "cannot exist in isolation".

"You need supporting infrastructure and amenities... to allow us to benefit from the economic opportunities of having a station," he said. "Having a sizeable piece of land around it will allow us to do that."

Mr Chew said MRT stations, present and upcoming, as well as nearby developments will be readily accessible from the HSR via several multi-level linkways.

Much of the infrastructure for the HSR will be built underground, he added, but did not confirm if the terminus would be underground.

The Jurong Region Line, slated to be operational by 2025, and Cross Island Line, to be ready by 2030, will also be close to the site.

Options to connect commuters from the HSR to Changi Airport will also be considered, while a future integrated transport hub at Jurong East, where MRT lines and the bus interchange are connected via air-conditioned links, will be ready later this year.

The authorities also said the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex will be located inside the terminus, with passengers needing to go through only a single border checkpoint either on the Malaysian or Singapore side.

Mr Ng said the plot, which was the only one considered in Jurong East, will be developed as a seamless extension of Jurong Gateway and fulfil the planning vision to develop the district as a new growth centre.

Plans to transform the 360ha Jurong Lake District - about the size of Marina Bay - into Singapore's second Central Business District have been in the works since 2008.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak have called the HSR project a game changer which is expected to shorten travel time to about 90 minutes. There will be seven stops in Malaysia. The 340km line is estimated to cost $30 billion to build.

After Jurong Country Club returns the land to the Government, soil investigation work will be done.

Detailed planning and technical studies will also be carried out, including the drawing up of a site masterplan, and conducting an engineering study to finalise the station footprint, its design, and alignment to the track.

More details will be announced in due course but it is likely that the 2020 deadline will have to be reassessed, said Mr Chew.

A new deadline for the completion of the project should be announced at the end of this year.

Additional reporting by Adrian Lim

This article was first published on May 12, 2015.
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