HDB Reviews Senja Parc View Review: Unblocked Greenery Views But Noisy
- November 17, 2021
- 25 min read
Reviewed by Reuben on November 17, 2021
What we like
- Gorgeous greenery view
- Living with nature
- Upcoming hawker centre
What we don't like
- —Loud noise from the KJE
- —Not close to the MRT
|Project:||Senja Parc View|
|HDB Town||Bukit Panjang|
|Address:||636A-C Senja Road|
|Lease Start Date:||01 Nov 2015|
|No. of Units:||577|
Senja Parc View is one of the newer HDBs in Bukit Panjang. In fact, it was part of the October 2010 BTO launch along with another non-mature launch at Sengkang, Anchorvale Horizon.
The development has won several awards, namely for its sustainability and clever use of the environment to create a conducive living space. It was designed by architect 3PA with notable residential developments in their portfolio such as Sophia Residence and Cairnhill Residences.
But what really caught our attention here are 3 things: its surrounding greenery, seamless connectivity to a park as well as a full-fledged basketball court atop the multi-storey car park!
The concern many people looking in this area would have is its connectivity. Senja Parc View is not within walking distance to an MRT or any mall.
However, are these downsides really a dealbreaker for those looking to stay around the area? Let’s tour the development to find out!
Senja Parc View Insider Tour
Going to Senja Parc View can be a little confusing. There are 2 entrances and exits into the development – one of which is shared with the neighbouring HDB called Senja Gateway.
If you had taken the first entrance along Senja Road, you would be greeted with a large blue sign that says “Senja Gateway” – this would certainly be confusing to first-time visitors, but a non-issue to residents nonetheless!
The 2nd entrance/exit is more straightforward as you’ll come to the 1st drop-off point here that has a pretty non-descript sign of the development.
Like most drop-off points, this one is a roundabout which is preferred in my books since this negates the need to do a 3-point turn that is common in most service roads that lead to a dead end.
The drop-off here is really spacious and airy, and it does come with ample seats too which is perfect for the elderly. It also sports the same colour tone as the rest of the development which is a nice touch.
The road here can fit 2 cars within the shelter too. More importantly, this drop-off point is connected directly to blocks 636A and 636C via a sheltered walkway so residents would never have to worry about getting drenched (or even shelter from the hot sun) just to reach the drop-off area.
Unlike some other HDBs I have seen, Senja Parc View has only 1 drop-off point. This means that in the event of wet weather, you’ll likely want to be dropped off here and walk to your block. It’s not really a big deal, but it would have been nice to have a sheltered drop-off point directly at your block particularly when having to carry heavy things. That being said, the walk from the drop-off to any of the blocks here is not long at all. And like I’ve mentioned earlier, it is fully sheltered as well.
Next, let’s look at the car park. From level 1, you’ll find that every single block has a sheltered walkway that leads right to the car park which is extremely convenient during rainy days.
Unfortunately, there is no link bridge within the parking levels connecting to the other blocks, so residents staying here would always have to go to the ground level to access their blocks. This could be a little inconvenient especially if the 1st level is full since this means having to take the lift down – particularly irritating if you are doing your grocery run or have to carry any other heavy things home.
The car park here sports a green and white design – consistent with the overall look of the development. I do prefer if more plants were used though, similar to the ones at SkyTerrace@Dawson since that gives it a much softer look.
You can also see that the walls here are already showing signs of wear, a common sight along the common corridor too which I’ll get to later. It’s frankly surprising to see considering this development is still considered to be new.
Now let’s head in to see what the car park is like.
Inside, you’ll find the car park to be pretty standard for a multi-storey variety. It’s quite open, airy and bright largely due to the air well between the car park here.
You’ll also find that Senja Parc View has some tricks up its sleeve – in line with the push towards a greener future, Senja Parc View has electrical charging stations here, as well as car-sharing facilities.
Now let’s head up to the rooftop garden, located on level 6. The rooftop garden is only directly accessible via an unsheltered link bridge at block 636B. Regardless, residents from any of the blocks here can simply take the sheltered walkway to the multi-storey car park and take the lift up.
At first glance, the rooftop garden does appear quite different from others. Usually, I would see more paths and greenery, but here you’ll find a large exercise area that is somewhat unique.
Here, you’ll find familiar stations that would cause you to reminisce of your younger days such as this – when your athletic ability was partially judged by how far you can jump!
There are also pull-up and sit-up stations, as well as one where you can do a running jump. Those who’ve done the NAPFA test before would probably feel a sense of apprehension (or glory) depending on how athletic you were in school!
There’s also an ample amount of seating here for anyone who just wants to relax in an open space and breathe the fresh air. But I think it’s more for parents to sit around while children run around here.
Now it wouldn’t be a rooftop garden with some greenery, so I’m happy to say that the ones here are pretty decent.
There is also a community garden here where residents can come together to share their love for nature.
However, it’s not quite the greenery on the rooftop garden that impresses me, but more of the greenery view that you can admire from here. It’s lush and thick, and very much a view everyone would love to have.
But while it looks great, it certainly does not sound great here given how close the Kranji Expressway (KJE) is. You can even see how close it is in the picture! This is where the usefulness of a picture can only go so far, as it looks incredibly peaceful but the sound on the ground obviously can’t be conveyed through it.
Another thing I’d like to point out are these metal boardwalks. It does not look like much here, but once on it, you’ll see that it offers an even better view of not just the greenery ahead, but below you too!
According to architect 3PA, this is the “ﬂoating boardwalk” that allows you to enjoy the panoramic views of the greenery.
You can also admire the greenery from inside the development:
And if you think that is quite special, wait till you see the largest facility on this rooftop garden: a full-fledged basketball court!
Basketball courts are increasingly a rarity, especially considering the value of the land. That is why it’s nice to see it on a rooftop where the space is put to good use (unlike the one at Pasir Ris ONE).
There are also outdoor benches provided here, so I can imagine it being a very appropriate place for larger groups to gather (post Covid-19 of course) and compete.
Here’s a birds-eye view of the entire rooftop garden facility:
As with all rooftop garden facilities, we can expect a level of disamenity to be levelled on lower floor units. Particularly due to the noise generated from the basketball court.
Let’s now head down to the ground level to check out what facilities Senja Parc View has to offer residents.
First stop – we have the childcare centre located on level one of block 636C. I’ve mentioned before in my other reviews on the importance of having one, particularly for those looking to add to their family. The convenience of having a childcare centre at your doorstep cannot be underestimated!
Just outside, you’ll find the Central Plaza. This Central Plaza is actually located right in the middle of all 3 blocks, and from here, it really does not look like much.
However, the plaza is a lot more than just an open space – you can’t see it from here, but from an elevated view, you’ll see what I mean:
The “C” in “Central Plaza” could also be referred to as the “Constellation Plaza”, as the design shows. This open area does not really provide much of a function, but rather serves to create a more welcoming feel when you reach the drop-off point.
Around this Central Plaza, you’ll find the usual fitness area and children’s playground.
The adult and elderly fitness areas are pretty standard and sufficiently spacious.
There’s also an outdoor seating area with a trellis to provide some form of shade.
As for the playground, there is a set of swings located right outside the childcare centre on the side of the Central Plaza.
However, the actual playground isn’t located here, but rather behind block 636C. From the looks of it, it seems to be well maintained and even sports a bright, colourful tone!
Around the corner of this playground, you’ll find the only sheltered pavilion (next to the loading/unloading bay). This one is not as big as the one that I saw in Clementi Cascadia, but it’s certain sizeable enough to sufficiently hold events. Like many other sheltered pavilions, it comes with ample seating as well as electrical points.
What I do like is that it is set in a private corner, so any events held here would only affect lower floor units at block 636C.
Now that we’ve checked out all the facilities on the ground level, let’s see how the common corridors are like.
As I make my way into the block, I noticed that the void deck here is truly a “void” in this regard. At the minimum, I did expect some seating available here, however, it’s mostly just empty spaces with some allowance for bicycle parking.
I suppose this could be a good or a bad thing depending on how you see it. For me, I like the older HDBs in that the communal areas were a lot more open and encouraged interactions. The newer ones tend to focus on efficiency and functionality. We have written about this before, and from the response it pretty clear that many people are fond of the good old days.
Arriving at the lift lobby, you’ll find that there are 3 lifts here per block, catering to 4-8 units per level (depending on the block). Given that Senja Parc View is just 27/29 floors high, I do not expect residents to have to wait long here. This is only true for much higher developments where having 8 units at up to 40-50 storeys can be a real pain, especially during peak hours.
Coming out, you’ll find the corridors here to be rather long and dark. I’m not sure about you, but coming home to this isn’t exactly a welcoming sight. Again, depending on the block, you’ll either have 2 or 4 units on each side. Since light only comes through at the end, you can see how dark it can be for the units here.
And while the development is only about 6 years old, the walls and flooring do look like they could already do with more maintenance!
Even as you look up to the ceiling, you’ll find wet patches and cracks here which are very unsightly and perhaps a sign that better care and upkeep is needed.
If I had asked you to guess the age of the development based on the above, what would have been your guess?
At some parts of the common corridor though, you do get treated to pretty amazing views of the surrounding area – but we’ll explore more of this in our stack analysis.
Senja Parc View Location Review
Senja Parc View’s location is probably one of its biggest downsides. Even an “ulu” HDB in Choa Chu Kang like Keat Hong Mirage has an LRT right opposite, with lots of retail options just below for added convenience.
Yet from our tour, Senja Parc View is missing both the immediate retail and connectivity element – both very important attributes when it comes to livability.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – neighbouring HDB blocks do offer some form of retail elements such as a coffee shop/cafe, and there’s even an NTUC about an 8-minute walk away. Still, this does pale in comparison to other HDBs with retail options just below.
On the flip side, it does shine when it comes to being close to nature. For one, there is a park that seamlessly blends with the development to the point where I was not even sure whether to include it in the development tour itself!
From behind block 636C, you’ll find a winding path up a hill that leads you into the park.
First off, you’ll find what is officially called the “Landscaped Plaza” which is really just a very nifty sculpture that looks like a dragon.
I don’t know about you, but I hardly find large and unique sculptures in public parks. While there really isn’t much else you can do with it, I do suppose it does serve as a visual interest particularly for units that directly face the park.
Getting up the hill could be an exercise on its own, and honestly reminds me of my younger days when I was much fitter.
Atop the hill, you’ll find several facilities that are commonplace in HDBs – there is a large playground here that is quite different to the kiddish one in Senja Parc View. This one here caters to children of an older age category. The less colourful design is actually deliberately done so as to prolong its usage throughout a child’s life.
You’ll also find ample outdoor seating here which also doubles up as a bench to do your stretches. This could be dependent on the time of day, but the area is quite well shrouded too from the trees around it.
There is also an elderly fitness corner here, with even more bench seating on the side.
And lastly a barbeque pit – something which is not too common in HDB estates, so I’m happy to see it here!
I really like the idea of having a barbeque pit in the estates. It’s really a suitable place for residents to have their gatherings, and given its some distance away from the blocks, there isn’t much of a privacy or noise concern here. This is in contrast to the barbeque pits provided at Natura Loft and Pasir Ris ONE which can level quite a bit of disamenity to residents nearby.
One really interesting thing about this park is that while it isn’t part of the development, you do have a direct connection to it. There is a ramp that leads you all the way up to the multi-storey car park roof garden to admire the greenery!
The second thing to note is that Senja Parc View is just a few minutes away by bicycle to the Park Connector, putting you close to the Western Adventure Loop:
Just like Keat Hong Mirage, Senja Parc View’s location in Bukit Panjang naturally means that residents here can easily connect to the Bukit Batok Town Park (aka “Little Guilin”), Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Dairy Farm Nature Park, and Zheng Hua Park.
The downsides to the location are obvious – it’s far from the MRT which also happens to be where Hillion Mall, Bukit Panjang Plaza and Junction 10 are located. And neither is it very close to an LRT station.
Furthermore, while it is close to nature, it does not quite enjoy the tranquillity that comes with it given its location right next to the KPE. Residents facing the greenery view would have to deal with more dust and air pollution coming from not just the cars, but trucks that commonly ply this route.
|Bus station||Buses Serviced||Distance From HDB (& Est. Walking Time)|
|‘Aft KJE Slip Rd’||160, 170, 178, 184, 75, 960, 961, 961M, 979||300m (4 min walk)|
Closest MRT: Bukit Panjang MRT; 14 min walk.
Senja Parc View is about a 14 minute walk to Bukit Panjang MRT. At this rate, I doubt most people would opt for the walk – even more so because the entire journey is not sheltered.
The good news is that residents can take a quick 4-minute walk to the bus stop along Woodlands Road. From there, it’s just 3 stops to the main MRT – so about 9 minutes in total. While it’s not terribly inconvenient, having an MRT within a 5-minute walk certainly beats having to rely on the bus to get home.
The bus stop here also has quite a fair bit of services that can take you out of the Bukit Panjang estate – up to the north and even to the CBD.
There is also another bus stop just opposite Senja Parc View that you can take to Bukit Panjang MRT, however, it is a much longer bus ride.
Unlike the bus stop at the KJE slip road, this one is fully sheltered to all the blocks within the development.
|Key Destinations||Distance From HDB (& Est. Peak Hour Drive Time)|
|Raffles Place||18.6 km (31 mins drive)|
|Orchard Road||16.0 km (26 mins drive)|
|Suntec City||18.5 km (30 mins drive)|
|Changi Airport||33.4 km (45 mins drive)|
|Tuas Port||26.6 km (41 mins drive)|
|Paya Lebar Quarter||19.6 km (26 mins drive)|
|Mediapolis||14.1 km (26 mins drive)|
|Mapletree Business City||16.4 km (31 mins drive)|
|Tuas Checkpoint||18.9 km (23 mins drive)|
|Woodlands Checkpoint||11.4 km (20 mins)|
|Harbourfront Cluster||18.3 km (23 mins)|
|Punggol Cluster||24.2 km (31 mins)|
Immediate road exit:
Drivers here can look forward to good connectivity via the Kranji Expressway (KJE) which connects to the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and ultimately the Pan Island Expressway (PIE).
|Name of Grocery Shop||Distance from HDB (& Est Time)|
|NTUC FairPrice||500m, 6-min walk|
|Educational Tier||Number of Institutes|
|Primary School (Within 1KM)||4|
|Other Tertiary Institutes||3|
School4Kidz @ Senja Parc View – Within the development
PCF Sparkletots (Senja Road) – 300m (4 min walk)
West View Primary School – 600m (7-min walk)
Teck Whye Primary School – 2.2km, (26 min walk)
Greenridge Primary School – 1.3km (15 min walk)
West Spring Primary School – 1.1km (13 min walk)
West Spring Secondary School – 0.3km (3 min walk)
Zhenghua Secondary School – 1.0km (11 min walk)
Teck Whye Secondary School – 2.0km (24 min walk)
Jurong Pioneer Junior College – 31 min by bus
ITE College West – 16 min by bus
Millennia Institute – 30 min by bus
Ngee Ann Polytechnic – 34-min by MRT
New hawker centre opening soon
Residents who are wondering where to get their hawker fix from would not have to worry that much longer. Estimated to open in early 2022, the cluster of HDBs around would have access to a brand new hawker centre along Senja Road.
It would be located just a 2-3 minute’s walk from Senja Parc View, providing residents with the much-needed amenity.
Senja Parc View HDB Site Review
Senja Parc View is comprised of 3 blocks standing 27/29 storeys high housing 577 units from 2-4 room flats (there are no 5 room flats here!).
Each block has either 4-8 units depending on the block and floors.
Overall, the design is quite typical, sporting a green, white, grey and brown tone. It’s nothing very remarkable, and about what you’ve come to expect from modern HDB’s today. There may be better looking HDB blocks around, but I don’t suppose too many people would care about the exterior. Having a good location, proximity to amenities, and transport connectivity is naturally much higher up on people’s list of priorities.
The blocks here may be towering, but they are pretty well spaced out given the large plaza in the middle as well as the unblocked views towards the north. Even the distance to the opposite HDB blocks across Senja Road has a respectable distance of around 65 metres.
And as if being near the park isn’t enough nature, I really appreciate the amount of greenery found within the development itself. This is especially important for inner-facing stacks since staring at barren concrete/roads/directly into your neighbour’s home without much else to focus on can be quite boring.
|Block Number||No. of Storeys||2-Room||3-Room||4-Room||Total|
The best stacks in my opinion may also be considered to be the worst stacks by others. This is because while it has undoubtedly the best views of the park and greenery beyond, it is also directly facing the KJE.
While the KJE is more than 100m away from the block, I could still hear the sounds of trucks and cars plying the roads here. For those who enjoy leaving their window open for natural ventilation, dealing with this noise is something you’ll need to really be comfortable with before making your purchase.
Furthermore, you’ll also find that the construction of the Gali Bus Depot may result in noise generated over the next few years (estimated completion around 2024). The bus depot is just a parking and maintenance spot for buses, so it adds no value to residents.
Given there aren’t any blocks opposite, you could also get a very good view of the north-west facing which offers a lot more greenery.
The inner-facing stacks are also quite decent, as they have sufficient space between them.
Those looking to purchase stacks facing the main Senja road would be happy to know that the distance to the next block is quite reasonable as shown here.
However, you would need to deal with traffic noise too – especially the buses plying along this road.
Senja Parc View Price Review
|Project||Lease Start Date||2 Room||3 Room||4 Room||5 Room||Executive|
|181 – 185 Jelebu Rd||2003||–||–||$607,789 ($615 psf)||$700,286 ($588 psf)||$836,611 ($618 psf)|
|Senja Gateway||2015||–||–||$483,096 ($485 psf)||$635,051 ($527 psf)||–|
|Senja Grand||2005||–||–||$451,526 ($461 psf)||$531,000 ($448 psf)||–|
|Senja Green||2013||$282,556 ($559 psf)||$376,888 ($523 psf)||$503,600 ($503 psf)||–||–|
|Senja Parc View||2015||$282,778 ($571 psf)||$347,500 ($482 psf)||$496,335 ($501 psf)||–||–|
For our pricing comparison, I’ve taken the immediate HDBs around Senja Parc View which includes 2 recently built developments (Senja Green and Senja Gateway). As you can see, the newer HDBs have 4-room flat prices of around $480,000 – $500,000, with not much variation between them.
Is this a fair price? Considering the median resale flat prices of 4-room flats in Bukit Panjang as of Q3 2021 is $448,500, I would say that paying close to $500,000 is pretty reasonable since these are as new as they can get in the estate.
And while it is a 3 bus stop away from Bukit Panjang MRT, it does have a direct connection to the CBD. Flats in Punggol are actually going around this price or slightly more ($500K+ for 4-room flats), so at these prices, Bukit Panjang flats look quite up to par!
But what if we look at flats close to Bukit Panjang MRT itself? I’ve taken a look at prices for blocks 181-185 Jelebu Road which is sandwiched between the Bukit Panjang MRT, Bukit Panjang Plaza and Hillion Mall. Assuming this is the “ultimate convenience” housing project you could buy, then we can expect prices to be pretty hefty here. And as it turns out, 4 room flats here are trading at over $600,000 – about a 22.4% premium for a flat that’s 12 years older!
And just opposite this development, an older 4-room flat (lease started in 1999) has gone for $560,000 in July 2021 – still a high premium over the new Senja Road developments considering it is about 16 years older. Hence, I do think that the current market prices of the new Senja flats seem pretty reasonable.
Senja Parc View is one of those developments that have strong pros and cons, often leaving buyers quite unsure of whether or not they should call the project home for at least the next 5 years.
For one, I love the proximity to nature. The park connector leading to the various parks around the estate is an attraction.
Yet when it comes to the tranquillity associated with nature, I fail to see it closer to the north side of the development as well as on the higher floors given the loud traffic noise from the KJE. In this case, you would have to sacrifice natural ventilation for having a somewhat quiet home.
And while it is rather affordable as a new development, there is a lack of decent amenities nearby unlike other HDBs I have reviewed.
All that being said, it is really just about 9 minutes to where the action really is at Bukit Panjang MRT – including the walk to the bus stop. This does make things a lot better, plus, Senja Parc View would be very close to a brand new hawker centre soon, so there is quite a bit of excitement coming up in this area!
Overall, I think that if you are someone looking for an affordable greenery view without needing quick access to shopping malls or the MRT, then Senja Parc View might very well be for you. But if the thought of having to take a bus to reach the MRT bothers you, then its clear that you’d need to consider other developments.
What this means for you
You might like Senja Parc View if you:
- • Are looking for that greenery view:
Not many developments in Singapore boast having unblocked greenery views, so if this is a strict requirement, Senja Parc View may just be the right project for you.
- • Want to be close to nature:
Residents here get to live right next to a park – but better still, the project is close to the park connector that links them to various parks and nature reserves in the Bukit Panjang area.
You may not like Senja Parc View if you:
- • Want immediate MRT access:
The walk to the MRT is 14-minutes long, and mostly unsheltered. Taking the bus does help, but not many would find this very convenient as it adds up over time during frequent commute.
- • Want peace and quiet:
Senja Parc View’s proximity to the KJE results in constant noise for those looking at the greenery view, so this is something you would have to be comfortable with if you plan to purchase a home here.