Task Force on Land Supply holds fourth meeting
The Task Force on Land Supply (Task Force) held its fourth meeting today (November 16). The meeting discussed two issues, namely the relocation of and topside development over Kwai Tsing Container Terminals (KTCTs), and developing existing land through ongoing initiatives.
The Task Force Chairman, Mr Stanley Wong, said the Task Force in general agreed that the port is an important part of Hong Kong's economic development, hence in considering any proposal to increase land supply by changing the land use of the existing terminals, there is a need to cautiously assess its impacts on the terminals’ operation and the economy of Hong Kong. The KTCTs and the nearby port back-up facilities currently cover a large area (a total of about 380 hectares). If the KTCTs are to be relocated, the replacement site at the seafront needs to be surrounded by deep waters, and a certain extent of reclamation may be involved. Apart from identifying a suitable replacement site, the relocation of terminals needs to take into account the provision of supporting infrastructure for the new container terminals, technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the relocation plan, etc. Considering that the Government has yet to conduct the necessary policy and technical studies on the proposal which would involve construction of large-scale infrastructures, and since there should be seamless transition between the new and the old container terminals, members were generally of the view that relocation of the KTCTs, assuming that it would be pursued, can be regarded as a land supply option in the longer term.
Mr Wong said, "On the topside development over the KTCTs, the Task Force noted that in order not to affect the operation of the KTCTs during the residential development and after population intake, the proposal is expected to involve highly complex technical issues and cost-effectiveness consideration. There is also a need to examine the compatibility of residential development with the container terminals, as well as the impacts on traffic, environment (including air, noise and glare) and landscape, etc."
On developing existing land, the Task Force Vice-chairman, Dr Greg Wong, said the Task Force noted the various ongoing initiatives being undertaken by the Government, including the rezoning of sites identified in land use review and increasing development density in the short to medium term, which are the more immediate solution to alleviate land shortage. On the other hand, taking forward the New Development Areas/new town extension projects requires long lead time, but large area of developable land could be made available for comprehensive planning of new communities, thereby constituting an important part of the land supply in the medium to long term. However, there are considerable challenges and uncertainties in the implementation of these ongoing initiatives. As regards the development of "Comprehensive Development Area" sites and urban renewal, while facilitating integrated redevelopment and rejuvenation of the urban fabric, they will unlikely bring about a net or major gain in land supply.
The Task Force will continue to examine other different land supply options in the coming few months.
The discussion papers of this meeting have been uploaded onto the Development Bureau's website (www.devb.gov.hk/en/boards_and_committees/task_force_on_land_supply/index.html).
Ends/Thursday, November 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:06