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Wang Chau development explained

September 15, 2016

Secretary for Transport & Housing Prof Anthony Cheung and Secretary for Development Paul Chan have met with Legislative Council members-elect Eddie Chu and Prof Edward Yiu today to discuss housing issues and matters relating to the development of Wang Chau, Yuen Long. 


Prof Cheung told reporters after the meeting that the Government has never made any guarantee or commitment, as alleged in the media, that there would be no further phases of development of Wang Chau and stressed that the second and third phases are still on the drawing board.


He pointed out that since 2012 when a consultancy study was conducted for the development, it was already divided into three phases.


However, the Government is facing many challenges and needs to deal with various issues, including the impact on the environmental and traffic, in bringing forward the subsequent phases of the development, he added.


Prof Cheung said before the Wang Chau development plan was formally proposed at the District Council, Government officials have, through informal channels, contacted local representatives such as the District Council and Rural Committee chairman, to gauge the preliminary views of the local community.  


He explained that such contacts are part of the normal procedures in public housing development projects for which no large-scale consultation exercise are conducted.


Once the development plans are finalised, the public, especially people affected by the development, will have the chance to express their opinions, he added.


Prof Cheung stressed that such informal contacts are not “collusion”.


As the shortage in housing and land supply is acute, the Government is taking a multi-pronged approach to push forward different initiatives at the same time, Mr Chan said.


The Government is re-zoning greenbelt sites and pushing very hard on the development of brownfield sites at the same time, he said.


Mr Chan pointed out that many issues need to be tackled for brownfield sites as they are often occupied by different business operations and reprovisioning is necessary.


He also said the Government wishes to have more frank exchanges with Legislative Council members to discuss ways to solve Hong Kong’s housing problem.


As requested by the two legislators-elect, the Government later passed them a copy of the contents table of the 16 reports under the feasibility study for the Wang Chau development project.


It will put together the appropriate contents of the study for the public’s reference.