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URA Civil Penalty 2009: A Look Back on Singapore’s Construction Fines

Introduction to URA Civil Penalty 2009:

Hey there, my kiasu kakis! Ever reminisce about the good ol’ (or not-so-good) days when URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) revised the civil penalty rules for unauthorised works and non-conservation developments? It was a big hoo-ha back in 2009, but the ripple effects still linger today. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?"


"Before 2009, the Planning Act was kinda lenient with a flat rate fine if you did some unauthorised works but still met planning requirements. But then, URA decided to stir the pot and introduced a new 3-tier band of civil penalties based on the extent of your unauthorised retention works. Got more, pay more - that was the new mantra.

New Rules (Well, back then):

The 2009 guidelines had these three bands, lah:

  • Band I: 0 to 50 sqm, fine was 1x processing fee (2x if got enforcement record).

  • Band II: 50 to 150 sqm, fine was 4x processing fee (8x if kena caught before).

  • Band III: Over 150 sqm, fine was 6x processing fee (12x if got bad record).

And eh, if you tried to act smart with URA, like hiding your works during inspections, the fine could shoot up to 25x the processing fee or $150,000. Serious business!

The Impact Today:

Fast forward to 2023, and the memories of these fines still send shivers down the spines of property owners, developers, and QPs. The guidelines from 2009 set a precedent and showed us all that URA wasn’t playing games when it came to unauthorised works and non-conservation developments.


So, next time you think about cutting corners on your project, remember the 2009 URA civil penalty shakeup. It’s a stark reminder to play by the rules unless you fancy parting with a hefty chunk of your hard-earned cash. Stay savvy, folks, and keep your projects on the straight and narrow!

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