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LCQ11: Rezoning "Village Type Development" sites for residential development

Following is a question by the Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (October 18):

Question:

According to the information provided by the Government, as at June 2012, there were a total of 932.9 hectares of unleased or unallocated government land zoned "Village Type Development" and a mere 388.9 hectares of unleased or unallocated government land zoned "Residential" (Group A to Group E), after deducting the lands which were not suitable for development, not available for development at that time, or with low development potential, among the lands covered by the statutory town plans. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1)  of the respective total areas of "Village Type Development" sites that (i) have been and (ii) have yet to be leased or allocated at present, with a breakdown by District Council district; and

(2)  whether it will consider rezoning some of the unleased or unallocated "Village Type Development" sites to "Residential" sites (particularly those with an area which is sufficient for developing public housing and where there are ancillary transport facilities in the vicinity); if so, of the details; if not, the reason for that?

Reply:
      
President,

My reply to the two parts of the question from the Hon To is as follows:

(1) In response to questions raised by members of the Legislative Council in July and October 2012, the Government has compiled statistics on a one-off basis on the unleased or unallocated government land within individual land use zonings at that time, including the 932.9 hectares of land zoned "Village Type Development". As we have repeatedly mentioned on previous occasions, the relevant figure is not equivalent to the developable government land area for small houses, as a considerable portion of this involve empty spaces or passageways between buildings, slopes, and other fragmented or irregular land parcels.  Considering that such compilation of figures require significant resources, we have not updated these one-off statistics on government land.

The distribution of the aforementioned land zoned "Village Type Development" by districts is as follows:

District Council Land Area (hectares)
Central and Western 0
Wan Chai 0
Eastern 0
Southern 3.0
Yau Tsim Mong 0
Sham Shui Po 0
Kowloon City 0
Wong Tai Sin 0.2
Kwun Tong 6.3
Kwai Tsing 8.5
Tsuen Wan 29.2
Tuen Mun 57.6
Yuen Long 228.4
North 127.7
Tai Po 121.1
Sha Tin 102.1
Sai Kung 142.8
Islands 106.0
Total Area: 932.9

(2) Under the existing statutory plans, "Village Type Development" zone mainly reflects recognised villages of indigenous villagers in the New Territories, and for small house development by indigenous villagers.  The purpose of setting up the "Village Type Development" zone is to concentrate village type developments for more orderly development.  As aforementioned, among the unleased or unallocated government land zoned "Village Type Development", a considerable portion are fragmented land parcels unsuitable for development. Besides, even if individual land parcels are relatively more complete in shape, they are generally not suitable for large-scale or high-density housing development as they scatter across some 642 recognised villages in Hong Kong, and that their developments are confined by the existing infrastructural constraints. Indeed, through various land use reviews or planning and engineering studies, we have been reviewing and assessing land with housing development potential. We shall continue with these efforts.

Ends/Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:30

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