LCQ15: North East New Territories New Development Areas
Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Leung and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (December 5):
It is mentioned in the North East New Territories New Development Areas Planning and Engineering Study Stage 3 Public Engagement Digest that the North East New Territories New Development Areas (NDAs) will provide about 54,000 housing flats to accommodate a population of 152,000, as well as providing more than 52,000 job opportunities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) how the authorities will ensure that community facilities such as schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, sports grounds and libraries in the NDAs will commence service in tandem with the first population intake;
(b) whether the authorities will consider establishing an independent police district for the NDAs; if they will, of the police manpower to be deployed; if not, the reasons for that; and
(c) whether projection has been made on the number of residents and workers in the NDAs who will be subject to double taxation because of their cross-boundary employment; how the Government will help them alleviate their tax burden?
The objective of implementing the New Development Areas (NDAs) is to cater for the long-term housing and socio-economic development needs of Hong Kong residents. The North East New Territories New Development Areas Planning and Engineering Study aims to establish a planning and development framework for the Kwu Tung North, Fanling North and Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling NDAs and to formulate development plans and implementation strategy. According to the planning announced in the consultation document of the Stage Three Public Engagement (PE3) exercise which was completed in end September this year, the NDAs will provide 533 hectares of developable land, of which about 150 hectares are housing land for developing about 53,800 residential units that can accommodate about 152,000 persons, and about 52,000 local employment opportunities will be created. The NDAs will be the main source of new housing in Hong Kong from 2022 onwards.
We are collating and analysing in a comprehensive manner the public comments collected during the PE3 exercise. The major issues of public concern and the Administration's initial responses have been set out in detail in the paper submitted to the Legislative Council Panel on Development on October 30 this year (LC Paper No. CB(1)61/12-13(05)). As stated by the Development Bureau at the Panel meeting, the Administration would consider and assess the comments carefully and adjust the planning proposals for the NDAs as appropriate after examining the comments from the planning and engineering feasibility perspectives. The adjustments would include increasing the public to private housing ratio in the NDAs to over 50%, and suitable sites would be identified for new Home Ownership Scheme developments to meet the housing demand of the public.
Our replies to various parts of the question are as follows:
(a) The planning of the NDAs is people-oriented, and has fully taken into account the needs of the residents. Sufficient land has been reserved in the NDAs for providing open space and community facilities (including school, hospital, sports ground, library and recreational facilities) in accordance with the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines. Having regard to the past experience in new town development and the public comments on the planning study, the Administration has proposed the Conventional New Town Approach during the PE3 exercise for implementation of the NDAs proposal. One of the merits of the approach is that an exact development programme can be set, based on which relevant government departments could make plans for the supporting public services and facilities in a timely and orderly manner to cater for the population that gradually move in. The Administration will consider the comments received in the PE3 exercise, including those on the approach that should be taken in implementing the NDAs project before deciding on the way forward.
(b) The police has all along conducted timely reviews of the changes in demand for policing services due to district developments with a view to ensuring effective use of the police's resources and providing efficient services to the community. Specific arrangements of the policing facilities for the North East New Territories NDAs will be finalised in a later planning stage.
(c) The commercial and other economic activities in the NDAs provide employment opportunities mainly for local residents. The current planning study has not projected as to whether the residents and workers in the NDAs will be engaged in cross-boundary employment.
As a general arrangement for Hong Kong residents engaged in cross-boundary employment, Hong Kong and the Mainland signed in August 2006 the Arrangement between the Mainland of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (Arrangement) to reduce the occurrences of double taxation on residents of both places for their direct (such as income from personal services) and indirect (such as dividends) incomes. The HKSAR Government will liaise closely with the Mainland authorities to effectively implement the Arrangement to ensure that residents of both places engaged in cross-boundary employment will not be subject to double taxation.
Ends/Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:31