The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched an online portal for people to search for information on land matters without having to pay a fee, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong wrote in a blog post on Thursday (Jun 2).
The portal, called URA SPACE (Service Portal and Community e-Services), consolidates detailed information such as land use plans, urban design guidelines, property use and approval, car park locations and availability, private residential property transactions, and conservation areas and buildings.
The data is presented on a map in the Geographical Information System format with a 3D map feature.
This new service will be piloted for six months to find out whether there is a need to further improve and enhance it, Mr Wong said.
According to Mr Wong, more than 33,000 people write in to URA every year to ask for information on land matters.
In the past, it would take the URA a few days to search its records. Due to the time and effort involved, it would charge a fee for the information. Now, the information is freely available on the portal in an easily searchable way, he said.
DATA ON SHOPHOUSES, CAR PARKS
Currently, the majority of the queries received by URA are on allowable uses for a shophouse, Mr Wong said – for instance, whether a shophouse can be used to operate a restaurant, a spa, a pub, an office; or whether it can be leased or owned for other uses.
The use of shophouses is regulated to safeguard the character and amenities in different localities.
“URA SPACE now allows businessmen, investors and shophouse owners to access this information at the click of a mouse, without having to pay, or wait a week for the information,” Mr Wong said. Previously, such enquiries would cost S$53.50, inclusive of GST, and it could take up to seven working days for applicants to receive the information.
In a media release, URA said that the portal also provides private property market transaction information by property type. There is also a data service that provides real-time parking availability in URA and HDB car parks, as well as car parks that supply data to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
URA said the portal is accessible on multiple devices, including Apple and Android tablets, and that there are plans to add more information and features in the future.
Mr Wong added that there is still much more that the Ministry of National Development can do to tap on the power of digital technology. “For example, the use of big data and data analytics can be a game-changer in the way we design, plan and develop our future urban landscape and HDB housing estates.
“We will continue to innovate and strive to make information more accessible and user-friendly, and bring better service to your fingertips,” he said.