Coney Island, Singapore
|Native name: Pulau Serangoon|
Entrance to Coney Island from mainland Punggol
Location of Coney Island within Singapore
|Area||1.33 km2 (0.51 sq mi)|
|Member of Parliament|
|Official website||Official website|
Coney Island, alternatively known as Pulau Serangoon, is a 133-hectare island located off the northeastern coast of Singapore within the town of Punggol, between Pulau Ubin to its northeast and the mainland to its southwest.
Land reclamation works were carried out on the island from 1975 to the 1990s, as there were plans to build residential buildings on the southern part of the island. The works narrowed the channel between Punggol and the island to 100m. Still, in spite of this small distance, motor launches had to be specially hired to reach the island until the opening of Coney Island Park, linked to the main island by two bridges on its western and eastern ends.
In an 1825 survey of the coastal areas around Singapore by Crawfurd, Forrester, Lt. Jackson and Dr Johnson, Rabbit and Coney (European rabbit) islets were mentioned.
An anonymous writer who wrote the Singapore Chronicle article noted on the sighting of the two islets, namely Rabbit and Coney that:
- "the whimsical application to these two islets suggests some observations upon the fantastic names which have been given to places in this part of the world; not only by European navigators but by the natives of the country themselves. There is scarcely any sense or meaning in the best of them. Pray, what is the difference between a rabbit and the coney?"
Formerly known as Pulau Serangoon (English: Serangoon Island), the island was once owned by entrepreneur siblings Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, before being sold to an Indian businessman, Ghulam Mahmood, in 1950 with the intention of turning the island into a resort modelled after the amusement park at Coney Island, New York.
The resort was opened in 1951, complete with a dance hall, restaurant and bar and seaside accommodation. In 1954, the island was put up for auction just 3 years after the resort was opened and in 1972, the Singapore government bought Coney Island from a Thai businessman and planned to carry out land reclamation works with tentative plans to develop the island into a recreational venue with chalets, a beach and a marina. The land reclamation works begun in 1975, increasing the area of the island from 32 hectares (0.32 km2) to 62 hectares (0.62 km2). Further land reclamation works were carried out during the 1990s with plans to build a 50-hectare park together with the development of Punggol New Town.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said that under the Master Plan, a part of Coney Island was zoned for residential, sport and recreational use but as the land is not immediately required for development, a part of Coney Island would be kept as an interim park for the time being. The rest of the island was zoned for park use. On 11 October 2015, Coney Island Park opened to the public, with a beach stretching 2 km (1 mi) and a 2.4 km (1 mi) long path that is part of the park connector network.
Activities and facilities
Coney Island Park
Managed by the National Parks Board, the 50 hectares (0.50 km2) nature park is home to a wide variety of habitats, including coastal forests, grasslands and mangroves. The park was officially opened by the Transport Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for Infrastructure, Khaw Boon Wan in 2015. During its first year of operation, a free-ranging Brahman cow was frequently sighted in the area.
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