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Pasir Ris resident loves her “jungle house” but neighbours are concerned over safety issues

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A mini jungle outside a HDB unit has attracted media attention after neighbours and town council staff were unable to solve the problem easily.

Singapore—If you Google “Pasir Ris jungle house”, a number of recently published articles will jump out at you, as the HDB unit in that area has been growing not only in foliage but also in reputation.

Neighbouring residents of the “jungle house” are less than happy, however, and are concerned over obstructions and fire hazards that the numerous plants of just one homeowner at Pasir Ris present.

This particular resident lives on the eighth floor at Block 101 Pasir Ris Street 6 but the “jungle” can be seen even from the ground.

The Straits Times posted a video (behind a paywall) of the residence on May 27 (Monday) wherein the person who took the video went all the way up to the hallway in front of the unit, which was teeming with potted plants galore, in all shapes and sizes, in all their overgrown glory.

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It is actually hard to even see the doorway of the unit, due to a large number of plants all around. Some reports say that several plants are actually three meters tall.

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One neighbour — who is full of concern due to the difficulty residents have in passing through the corridor — took to Stomp, a popular site for citizen journalists, to make her complaint.

Since the plants belonging to the owner of the unit are crowding out the stairs, the neighbour said, “It’s a fire hazard, the walkway is very narrow, and the escape route in the event of an emergency is blocked. I have provided feedback to the town council on multiple occasions but am always told that the owner of the flat is not available during visits by town council representatives.”

She said that the plants have been there since she moved in eleven years ago and that she herself has talked to the owner of the plants.

“When I raised the issue with my neighbour, she simply said that she loves plants.”

The owner of the plants is said to be a woman who lives on her own and is thought to be in her fifties.

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When asked by Stomp, the town council of Pasir Ris-Punggol admitted to already being aware of the potential hazard the plants bring. The town council issued a statement that read, “The Town Council has advised the resident concerned, on several occasions, to refrain from placing excessive potted plants and/or items at the common areas.

While the resident concerned removed some of the potted plants after the Town Council has served her advisories, the resident concerned will attempt to place the potted plants at the common corridors again after some time.”

Apparently, the woman has removed the plants by the staircase landing since she was spoken to.

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The town council added that it was working with the woman to further reduce the number of plants and that it will be monitoring the issue: “The Town Council takes a serious view of obstructions at the common areas. Not only do such obstructions inhibit the use of the common areas, they are potential fire hazards and may hamper evacuation during emergencies.

“While the Town Council understands the resident’s desire to create a high rise garden city, would like to reiterate the importance for residents to maintain obstruction free passageway.

“Residents are reminded to keep the common areas clear of clutter to may hamper medical evacuation and firefighting operations and pose potential fire hazards. This will create a safe living environment for all.”/ TISG

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