Greater than 180 years of horse racing in Singapore will quickly come to an finish, because the “land scarce” metropolis state closes its solely race course to create space for public housing.
The chairman of the Singapore Turf Membership, Niam Chiang Meng, mentioned the membership was saddened by the choice, however that it additionally understood the “land wants” of Singapore. The 120-hectare web site was a helpful useful resource, he mentioned, including: “This transition will serve to optimise land use for the larger good of the local people and future generations.”
The ultimate race assembly will happen on 5 October 2024, when the membership holds its a centesimal Grand Singapore Gold Cup. The location will then be handed again to the federal government in 2027 for redevelopment.
The ministries of finance and nationwide improvement mentioned in a joint assertion that Singapore is a city-state with restricted land. “The federal government frequently evaluations its land use plans to satisfy at present’s wants whereas guaranteeing there may be ample land for future generations,” it mentioned.
The variety of attendees watching native horse racing had additionally declined over time, the ministries’ assertion added.
Singapore Turf Membership was based in 1842 by Scottish service provider William Henry Macleod Learn and different horse racing followers, and was then referred to as the Singapore Sporting Membership. As the game grew in recognition, it moved to a bigger venue, Bukit Timah in western Singapore, and later to its present web site, Kranji, in north-western Singapore, which might seat 30,000 racegoers.
Over greater than 180 years, the course has drawn in “royalty, celebrities, racing followers and the curious from around the globe”, the membership mentioned in an announcement.
Queen Elizabeth II, recognized for her love of horse racing, visited the membership throughout a state go to in 1972, and an occasion was named after her. She visited a second time with Prince Philip in 2006.
The federal government mentioned the location will probably be used for housing, together with public housing, and that different potential makes use of, corresponding to leisure and recreation, had been additionally being thought of.
The announcement of the membership’s closure comes at a time when costs throughout Singapore’s property market are rising quickly.
Greater than 80% of Singaporeans personal their very own properties attributable to a public housing system that sells government-built residences on to residents at a subsidised value. Nonetheless, demand for such residences is excessive.
The price of such properties – which might be resold after a minimal occupancy interval – has risen by greater than 30% over the previous three years.
In line with a current report by the City Land Institute (ULI), prices within the non-public rental market in Singapore, which is dominated by foreigners, elevated nearly 30% final yr, reaching a median month-to-month hire of US$2,600.
ULI’s report pointed to numerous elements for rising house and rental costs, together with a rise in immigration to town state, and a rising development of younger Singaporean professionals preferring to not transfer away from their household house, a “comparatively restricted inventory” of rental properties and delays to deal with development through the pandemic.
The federal government has launched cooling measures to ease the market and has mentioned that as much as 100,000 non-public and public properties are anticipated to be accomplished by 2025.