Fernvale Lea flat buyers want refund over columbarium
SOME upset would-be residents of Fernvale Lea have asked the Housing Board for a refund for their flats over the columbarium issue.
They conveyed this to Lam Pin Min, MP for Sengkang West, during a three-hour closed-door dialogue which was attended by 400 people.
Despite assurances from him that there would not be a crematorium or funeral-parlour services at the Chinese temple, a group gathered around a table where they could leave contact details for HDB to call them about a refund.
It is unclear how many eventually left their details on the list.
Dr Lam, giving a quick rundown of the dialogue, said: "They felt uncomfortable that such a (columbarium) service would be provided there and have requested that HDB look into their request for a refund."
The Urban Redevelopment Authority and HDB in a joint statement later in the evening said that with regard to the refund, they will look into the matter.
There will be 3,258 residential units in the vicinity of the temple, spread across Build-to-Order projects Fernvale Lea and Fernvale Rivergrove, and executive condominium Lush Acres.
The Straits Times understands that one of the points made at the dialogue was about how HDB should have been more upfront about the Chinese temple housing a columbarium.
Dr Lam said that it was indicated in the Fernvale Lea brochure for the new flats. "There is really nothing to hide," he added.
He also noted that it is not uncommon to have columbarium services at places of worship.
Three temples within Anchorvale - Puat Jit Buddhist Temple, Nanyang Thong Hong Siang Tng Temple and Chee Hwan Kog Temple - already have similar set-ups.
Some of those who were at the dialogue, like project manager Vicky Naidu, 33, were concerned about how the resale value of their flat would be affected by all this, but said that rejecting the flat "is a very tough decision".
"We already waited for a house for so many years. It is not an easy decision to make overnight."