Oral Answer by 2M for Law, Mr Edwin Tong, to Parliamentary Question on TOLs
3 Mar 2021 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Leon Perera (Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC)
To ask the Minister for Law for Temporary Occupation Licences (TOLs) issued for continued occupation by owners of properties that are already acquired by and reverted to the Government and which are not required for immediate development (a) what are the considerations behind the decisions for (i) renewal or termination of TOLs and (ii) duration of each TOL term; (b) whether the occupants are consulted in such decisions; (c) whether there is a standard process for public interest like heritage value or community impact to be taken into consideration in these decisions; and (d) whether TOLs can be passed on from a deceased family member to surviving relatives.
- Mr Speaker, it is difficult to answer this question in the hypothetical, because much depends on the specific circumstances of each case. A non-exhaustive list of such factors could include the nature of the property acquired, the nature of its heritage value, possible immediate uses, the possible need for works to be carried out on the property, whether the government assesses that it should keep the property vacant, while the various factors are being assessed, or whether it is possible or appropriate for the property to be put to some interim use. If the member has a specific property in mind he can let us know, and we will consider. With the above in mind, I will set out my answers.
- Sir, State lands which are not required for immediate development can be put to interim use through tenancy agreements or Temporary Occupation Licences (TOLs). TOLs are issued to preserve flexibility for the government’s discretion as to the use of State lands, which are needed for a variety of purposes. The terms of the TOL would reflect this. Before the issuance of a TOL, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) will consult with various agencies, such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority, or the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, where the land is set up for community uses.
- TOLs are short-term instruments. SLA will consider each application for a TOL or its renewal on its merits, taking into account various factors, such as the nature of the land in question, whether the site is affected by development plans, and whether the proposed use might generate any disamenity in the community. TOLs can be terminated if the licensee no longer wishes to use the land, or if there are breaches of the TOL conditions, or if the land is required for redevelopment.
- SLA will consider all requests for passing on of a TOL from a deceased person to surviving relatives. Cases will be considered on their merits, in the context of the person or persons applying, and whether there are other relatives, as well as other factors. Thank you Sir.
Last updated on 3 Mar 2021