Gov’t refutes land-supply misconception
September 22, 2012
It is a misconception that Hong Kong has a large vacant land reserve the Government said following the last public forum on North East New Territories New Development Areas held in Sheung Shui today.
It said the often-cited 2,100 hectares of "Residential" or "Commercial/Residential" land in fact include about 1,200 hectares of land zoned "Village Type Development" as well as 420 hectares covering roads and man-made slopes.
There are also many strips of land not suitable for development due to their small size or irregular configuration. After excluding these, much of the remaining so-called vacant land already has committed uses, including land reserved for public housing, private developments and sites on the Application List.
Hong Kong is in dire need of sufficient developable land. There are nearly 200,000 applicants on the public housing waiting list. Addressing the housing needs of Hong Kong people is definitely an imminent issue.
The project is a new town for Hong Kong people, providing land for development of industries in Hong Kong and employment opportunities for local residents.
This is neither a "Hong Kong-Shenzhen integration” nor a backyard for rich Mainlanders.
The plans are a major source of land supply in Hong Kong. If the whole project is "withdrawn" or "halted", it will mean the housing problem cannot be addressed, and other development proposals in Hong Kong cannot materialise.
After the consultation ends at the end of September, the Government will adjust the Recommended Outline Development Plans. The Planning Department will amend the Outline Zoning Plans and submit them to the Town Planning Board.
The board will invite public views before submitting them to the Chief Executive in Council for approval. The whole statutory process will take about 11 months.
The Government will carefully consider the comments expressed by the community, and make appropriate adjustments, adding it will make satisfactory arrangements for those affected.
The Government appeals to all concerned to consider Hong Kong’s overall interests and together build a new town for the Hong Kong people .