[UPDATE Aug 31] In response to AsiaOne’s queries, Choa Chu Kang Town Council said it received feedback from residents in January and February this year about a resident setting up a makeshift gym at the void deck of Block 457 which was causing noise disturbance, especially late at night.
The town council said its officers conducted several inspections but were unable to spot the makeshift gym or the resident in action.
“The town council proceeded to put up a notice in February to seek the resident’s co-operation to refrain from using the void deck as a place for the makeshift gym as it was causing noise disturbance and could obstruct the common area,” said a spokesperson from the town council.
The town council added that it would like to remind all residents about the considerate use of common spaces and to avoid holding noisy activities late at night for the well-being of neighbors and the community.
Many people have taken to the idea of working out at home in recent years, especially during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period when gyms were temporarily closed.
One enterprising fitness trainer, however, took it a step further by using the void deck below his HDB block to conduct training classes.
However, he had to put a stop to that after residents complained that his actions were a public nuisance.
Taking to TikTok on Aug 27, username Stannersssss posted a video of a notice shared by Choa Chu Kang Town Council regarding his use of the void deck at Block 457 at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4.
The notice, dated on Feb 19, said: “The town council has received feedback of residents using the void deck as a makeshift gym.
“Such activities are [are] strictly prohibited as it obstructs the void deck and causes noise disturbance to other residents.”
Stannersssss had previously shared the same notice on Aug 7, while accusing the town council of “killing [his] gains”.
Speaking to AsiaOne on Tuesday (Aug 30), the man, who only wanted to be named as Stanley, expressed his bafflement at the complaints regarding his makeshift gym.
Describing how he had “nothing but positive experiences” with the residents there, the 36-year-old said: “I was also approached by the police in times where my clients and I had made no noise.
“I don’t see what’s the issue here, because I’m not the only one doing this.”
He said that the police had also inquired about the identities of his clients earlier in February after a resident allegedly complained about them being a public nuisance, but Stanley added that he held no grudge towards the men in blue as it’s part of their job.
While Stanley had seven years of experience as a personal trainer, he only moved his base of operations closer to home during the Covid-19 circuit breaker two years ago.
After getting booted out of the void deck, Stanley told AsiaOne that he now trains his clients along the common corridor outside his unit where he charges them about $100 per session, adding that he has not received any complaints from neighbors.
The gym equipment used would be dismantled and kept in his flat after these sessions, Stanley pointed out.
In the comments, several netizens speculated on why the town council had prohibited Stanley from setting up a makeshift gym at the void deck.
“I think they scared people to drop weights and break their tiles,” a netizen said, while Stanley replied that a resident had told him that people skating there caused more damage and problems.
AsiaOne has contacted Choa Chu Kang Town Council and the police for more information.
Residents are allowed to carry out home-based businesses without approval provided they do not cause disamenities to neighbors and the living environment, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority on their website.
On whether Stanley’s usage of the common corridor would breach fire safety guidelines, the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) stated on their website that obstructions at staircase landings are not permitted.
However, HDB residents are allowed to place items along the corridor if they can be easily folded or removed in times of emergency, the SCDF added.
In another similar incident about gyms being set up at HDB flats, a resident turned the elevator lobby at Block 621 Woodlands Drive 52 into his personal gym in Oct 2020.
His neighbor described his frustration with how the lift lobby was cluttered with gym equipment, adding that it was frustrating and inconsiderate.
The resident was later ordered to remove the equipment from the lift lobby, according to a spokesperson for the Sembawang Town Council then.