Hougang: History

11 August 2007

Upper Serangoon Road
Serangoon Road extends from Selegie Road northwards to Sungei Serangoon. Serangoon Road is divided into 2 sections, with the latter part from Macpherson Road northwards called Upper Serangoon Road. For decades, Upper Serangoon Road is the main transportation spine serving Hougang, even up till today.

Trafalgar Estate
Trafalgar Estate occupied 3,000 acres of where is now the northern part of Hougang. The area covered corresponds to present day Neighbourhood 5, Neighbourhood 6, Neighbourhood 9 and part of Buangkok in neighbouring Sengkang.

Trafalgar Estate is first developed by Walter Knuggs in the 1870s, with tapioca as the primary crops. The ownership was passed to Guthrie and Company in 1887, to be managed by John Fraser and assisted by Louis Stork and H. Holmes. The estate moved from growing tapioca to coconuts and pepper. Trafalgar Estate later transited to cultivate rubber and changed its name to become the Bukit Sembawang Rubber Estate in 1908.

Hougang New Town
Punggol Estate is constructed in 1972 to resettle families affected by the Paya Lebar Airport Extension Scheme. Punggol Estate is subsequently expanded into Hougang New Town in 1979.

Similar to Woodlands New Town, Hougang New Town is also developed in phases. Phase 1 commence in 1979 and focus on Hougang South comprising Neighbourhood 1, Neighbourhood 2, Neighbourhood 3 and Neighbourhood 7. Phase 2 commence in mid-1980s and focus on Hougang Central comprising Neighbourhood 4, Neighbourhood 5, Neighbourhood 6, Neighbourhood 8, Neighbourhood 9 and small pocket developments in the older neighbourhoods.

The street layout of Hougang is planned to take advantage of the natural topography to achieve a sense of identity. The precinct concept which piloted in Tampines, is consequently adapted in Hougang.

Individuality of Hougang is achieved using rounded corners and curved forms for building blocks. This unique architectural detail is repeated throughout the town.

Hougang has the distinction of being the first town where the Executive Maisonette and Executive Apartment designs are introduced in 1979. The double-storey maisonette is an interesting departure from the conventional single-storey designs.

The new Simplified series of 3-Room and 4-Room flat designs are also first introduced in Hougang in 1983. The Simplified flat designs offers an alternative range of designs and caters for different income and affordability levels. However, with the demand for smaller flat decreases, blocks of unsold 3-Room and 4-Room Simplified flats were converted into larger 6-Room or 7-Room flats towards the end of the 1980s.

Hougang is the first New Town to be interspersed with pockets of existing private developments. However, do take note that Ang Mo Kio New Town has a small enclave (Mayflower Gardens) within Neighbourhood 1 and Clementi New Town has private estates at its fringe (Clementi Park Estate, Faber Hills Estate and Hong Leong Garden Estate).

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