HDB rejects owner’s appeal to keep unusual koi pond
TOH TING WEI
Apr 10, 2019 06:00 am
A Housing Board flat owner who had converted the doorstep of his property into a fish tank for his koi carp has failed in his appeal to keep the unusual structure.
The Tampines Street 41 resident installed glass panels to the walls around the four steps leading to his ground-floor unit to house about 10 fish, but was unaware that he needed permission to make the alteration.
HDB had said in January that the man could not keep the tank because of safety concerns.
But he lodged an appeal, after working with Tampines Town Council on measures to address issues raised by the housing board.
HDB said yesterday that it had rejected the appeal.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman said: "Aside from the safety concerns that were earlier highlighted, there is a more fundamental reason to turn down the request to retain the koi tank.
"The stairway area outside the unit is common property... Any fixed installations by flat owners have to be confined within the premises of their unit, and not placed on common property."
The owner has also acknowledged that the stairway is common property, the spokesman added.
Under the town council's by-laws, it is an offence to have unauthorised fixtures on common property.
The flat's residents also own the adjacent unit, through which they enter the flat with the blocked doorstep.
The owner, who only wanted to be known as Mr Tan, was saddened by the decision.
He said he will have to remove the tank soon, but there is no deadline yet on when to do so.
Mr Tan added: "I think there will be no more appeals, it is a waste of time to me."
He said he had submitted two appeals to the HDB, both of which were unsuccessful.
He had also appealed to the Ministry of National Development (MND) last week.
Mr Tan said MND had suggested that a community pool or tank, where his fish could be moved to, could be built in the area.
Of the proposal, Mr Tan said: "It's not just about digging two holes. You need to think about what is the attraction there and what is really useful for the community.
"Hopefully something good will come out of it. I am a bit tired of this."
His wife said: "We are not creating an eyesore or disturbance... if everybody keeps everything to the house, there will be no soul in the neighbourhood."