Residents at a condominium in Punggol, A Treasure Trove, have been locked in a dispute with their neighboring Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat residents for over 3 years, all because of the smells and smoke that get emitted from their BBQ pits which are just 15 meters away from the nearest HDB flats.
According to news reports, residents at the neighboring HDB flats have resorted to shutting themselves in the room, using fans and air conditioning and cleaning their windows and furniture more often. Reporters who visited the scene found that the smoke and the grease floating from the neighboring BBQ had caused several HDB residents' furniture and walls to be coated with black carbon residue and grease.
When asked what measures had been taken, they said that they had complained several times to the authorities but no action has been taken.
When speaking to the A Treasure Trove's management, the condominium's management said that the issue was not a big one and commented that the residents were just making a fuss over freely moving BBQ smells.
The management's spokesperson pointed out that the relevant authorities had visited the condominium before over such complaints, and found that there was no breach in the laws or regulations.
"We use electronic BBQ pits. We completely do not use the charcoal style pits, which reduces the BBQ fumes to their lowest level. The (HDB) residents get to smell the pleasant scent of cooked meat, not the smell of rubbish or other pungent odours, I don't feel there is any problem," said the condominium's spokesperson.
When asked why the condominium had located over 10 BBQ pits in the same location facing the HDBs, the spokesperson said that the pits were to cater to the 882 units in the condominium.
Reporter spoke to lawyers, who confirmed that there was no breach in any regulations on the part of the condominium, with a caveat. If the residents of the nearby HDB flats can prove that the condominium's BBQing had caused long term health problems or illnesses, these residents can sue the condominium for compensation under the laws governing Tort of Negligence.
This matter has not escaped the attention of politicians like Member of Parliament Sun Xueling. She says that she has been working with residents to reach an amicable solution to the problem.