Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong asked the Minister for National Development (a) whether there are guidelines on the installation of barriers in void decks, walkways and other common spaces in terms of accessibility for the disabled, elderly and community activities; and (b) what is the Ministry's position on the installation of such barriers in common spaces in HDB estates.
The Senior Minister of State for National Development (Mr Desmond Lee) (for the Minister for National Development): Madam, Town Councils manage and maintain common property in HDB estates, and may make improvements to these areas to meet the needs of residents within the town. In doing so, they have to comply with BCA’s Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment, which sets out the requirements for barrier-free accessibility (BFA) in public spaces.
When considering whether to install barriers in void decks, walkways and other common property, Town Councils must also abide by the Building Control Act, which stipulates that any barrier-free access must not be obstructed, removed, altered or made unusable.
If barriers are put up such that they unduly obstruct a walkway intended as an accessible route, the Commissioner of Building Control may require the Town Council to remove them.
Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong (Non-Constituency Member): I thank the Senior Minister of State. What are the avenues for the public if they have complaints about such barriers? Who can they turn to, to make the complaints?
Mr Desmond Lee: They can let the Town Council know. They can let BCA know.