Legislative changes to facilitate future planning and development of underground space
12 Feb 2015 Posted in Press releases
The Ministry of Law has submitted two bills for first reading in Parliament today. They are the State Lands (Amendment) Bill and the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill.
The proposed amendments are necessary to facilitate the Government’s long-term planning for the use and development of underground space in the future. More extensive use of underground space in land-scarce Singapore will benefit all Singaporeans as surface land may be used for other purposes, such as parks and greenery, homes and offices.
The amendments to the State Lands Act will provide greater clarity on the current extent of underground ownership, and the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act will facilitate public projects which require only a specific stratum of space.
Clarification of extent of underground ownership
- The amendments to the State Lands Act will clarify that surface landowners own the underground space up to 30 metres under the Singapore Height Datum 1, unless otherwise specified in the State title. The amendments will not affect how landowners currently use and develop underground space, and landowners will continue to own all the space they need. Generally, basements of developments in Singapore extend to about 15 metres underground.
Introduction of strata acquisition powers
- The Land Acquisition Act will also be amended to allow for the acquisition of a specific stratum of space. This amendment will facilitate the development of public projects that require a specific stratum of space.
About the State Lands Act and Land Acquisition Act
- The State Lands Act regulates the alienation and occupation of State lands. The last round of amendments to the Act was in February 2009.
- The Land Acquisition Act provides for the acquisition of land and the assessment of compensation to be made. The last round of amendments to the Act was in August 2014.
 The Singapore Height Datum is a level fixed across the whole of Singapore from which height measurements take reference. It is pegged to Singapore’s historical mean sea level. All private landowners will have 30m or more of underground space for development.
Last updated on 11 Feb 2015