THE Sin Ming area will not be a "funeral parlour hub" despite plans by the Government to pilot a purpose-built funeral parlour there.
Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu asssured MP Hri Kumar in Parliament on Monday that her ministry would take residents' concerns seriously when planning for this development.
Demand for funeral services is expected to rise as Singapore's population ages. Purpose-built funeral parlours are seen by the Government as an improved option over temporary premises for wakes - like void decks, streets and car parks - which cause noise pollution, traffic congestion and other disturbances.
On the Sin Ming plan, Ms Fu said the location was chosen because it was within an industrial estate - and hence away from residential areas - yet still accessible.
To mitigate concerns from residents there, the Government has brought forward the development of an adjacent industrial site so it can serve as a buffer between the funeral parlour site and the nearest residential areas and school. It will also not start work on the funeral parlour until after the industrial site is developed.
In addition, it has also moved the proposed site further away from nearest residential areas, and increased the provision for car parking lots. The operator of the parlour will need to have fully enclosed and air-conditioned premises and confine all activities indoors. Even incense will need to be burned indoors, and processions held within the premises. All services and activities will be screened off from public view through the design and landscaping of the development.
If this pilot plan succeeds, more purpose built funeral parlours will be created elsewhere in Singapore, said Ms Fu.