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Serangoon HDB flat's 'sauna' structure raises eyebrows, town council to ask homeowner to remove

Serangoon HDB flat's 'sauna' structure raises eyebrows, town council to ask homeowner to remove
Some netizens opined that the wooden 'sauna' fixture obstructs the common corridor and staircase landing.
PHOTO: Reddit

A homeowner who installed a fixture resembling a Japanese sauna outside their Serangoon HDB flat will be asked to remove it, after a picture of the structure raised eyebrows online.

On Tuesday (July 9), a Reddit user shared a photo of the flat and wrote: "Is that an onsen spa at a HDB [block]?"

Complete with a door and window as well as a decorative frame with the word 'home' written in Mandarin, the rustic-looking wooden fixture sits on a raised platform, jutting out from the wall. Surrounding it is some greenery and pots of plants.

The flat is located on the 12th floor of a HDB block at Serangoon Central, reported Lianhe Zaobao.

A reporter spotted over 30 potted plants lining the corridor, and items such as laundry detergent placed on top of the 'sauna', which is understood to be used as a storage space. 

Residents told Zaobao that the homeowner is a Chinese woman in her 50s.

Neighbour Huang Dehan (transliteration), 20, said the fixture appeared about five or six years ago.

"I heard that other residents have reported the situation to the authorities, but nothing much changed. She used to water her plants outside the flat, but has been doing so less frequently now," added the student.

Netizens expressed their amazement at the "cool" and "cute" structure, but many opined that it may be illegal.

One Reddit user commented: "They're meant to be installed in your bathroom, by removing your entire shower cubicle and putting this in its place... It's a great option if you really want a sauna in your home.

"This is flat-out brazenly illegal though."

Another said: "I think [the fixture] blocks the actual real gate with the unit number. Definitely not legal. Because this encroaches onto the public space. I mean many people do that with their shoe racks and stuff but they're easily moveable, unlike this."

Resident was asked to reduce clutter: Town council 

Responding to AsiaOne's queries, a spokesperson for Marine Parade Town Council said they have been engaging with the homeowner to reduce clutter outside the unit over the years, which resident "has made some effort in doing so".

"We will continue in our engagement and work with the owner to remove the fixture and further reduce the clutter," said the spokesperson, adding that the situation will be monitored closely.

Residents are urged to refrain from installing unauthorised structures in common areas, reduce clutter and to not obstruct the corridors or the staircase and its landings for a safer and more comfortable living environment.

Those who wish to report any estate-related feedback or request for assistance can contact the town council at 1800-241 6487 or 1800-287 6530, or through its official Facebook and Instagram page.

According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force, the common corridor in HDB estates must have a clear passage at least 1.2metres wide.

No placement or storage of objects at staircases and its immediate landing is allowed so that escape routes are not obstructed.

According to the HDB website, renovation works which create a public nuisance, pose a fire hazard, or intrude into public space are not allowed.

Examples of disallowed building works listed include the installation of awning or other fixtures outside the flat.

ALSO READ: Resident calls out neighbour's cosy corner outside flat, but is it allowed?

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