With the commissioning of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and having the Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau will become a "Double Gateway" connecting Hong Kong to other cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the world. In order to capitalise on the competitive advantages of attracting talents and promoting economic development, the Government has formulated the "Lantau Tomorrow Vision". With due regard to conservation, we will progressively press ahead the development areas at Lantau and the coastal areas of Tuen Mun with the objective of consolidating the sustainable development of Hong Kong.
To unleash the development potential of existing land, the statutory planning process for the topside development at the Siu Ho Wan Depot Site was launched early this year. The site is estimated to provide no less than 14 000 residential units in the medium to long run. We hope to develop this site into a community with subsidised and private housing as well as community facilities. We will continue to follow up with MTRCL on various details.
Apart from developing existing land resources, one of the initiatives of the Lantau Tomorrow Vision is to commence the study on the phased reclamation for formation of artificial islands in the Central Waters, where are relatively less ecologically sensitive, as soon as possible to provide land reserve to meeting the long-term housing, economic and employment needs. Newly formed land reserve can be used for renewal of old districts, thinning out the existing densely populated urban areas and improving the living environment. According to the preliminary technical assessment, some artificial islands with a total area of about 1 700 hectares can be constructed in phases near Kau Yi Chau and Hei Ling Chau. We roughly estimate that the artificial islands can accommodate about 260 000 to 400 000 housing units, with 70% as public housing, for a population of about 700 000 to 1.1 million, and with the first phase of housing units to be occupied in 2032. Leveraging on the locational advantage, we are going to create the third Core Business District on the artificial islands. Together with other developments, we preliminarily estimate that about 340 000 employment opportunities can be provided on the artificial islands.
To complement the phased development of the artificial islands in the Central Waters, we give priority to the construction of a set of new strategic road and railway networks to link up the artificial islands near Kau Yi Chau, Hong Kong Island West, North Lantau and the coastal areas of Tuen Mun. Possible strategic transport corridors will also be reserved for the long-term development. It is expected that the priority strategic roads and railways, which will be connected to existing transport networks, can greatly ease the traffic loading on the West Rail and the Tuen Mun Road as well as improve the transport performance in the Northwest New Territories and the territory.
The connectivity of Tuen Mun will be enhanced by the priority strategic transport networks (including the upgrading of Lung Mun Road). As part of the Lantau Tomorrow Vision, we will take forward the near-shore reclamation at Lung Kwu Tan to provide about 220 hectares of land for industrial and commercial uses, high value-added logistics centres, etc. We will also replan the development sites in Tuen Mun West (including the River Trade Terminal) and Tuen Mun East such that development potential driven by the new transport network can be fully utilised.
The priority strategic transport networks will consist of a new highway running parallel to the North Lantau Highway. Small-scale near-shore reclamation at Siu Ho Wan is required for its construction. Such transport network will further strengthen the “Double Gateway” position of Lantau and benefit the development of North Lantau. We plan to invite the Airport Authority Hong Kong to submit a proposal for the topside development at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Together with the Three-runway System, the high value-added logistics centre at the South Cargo Precinct, the SKYCITY development and the future plan for the AsiaWorld-Expo, the Hong Kong International Airport would become an Aerotropolis connecting the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the World, thereby strengthening and enhancing Hong Kong's position as an international business centre. In addition, we will continue to take forward the Tung Chung New Town Extension in North Lantau. The concepts of smart, green and resilient city will be promoted, taking the Tung Chung New Town Extension as a pilot. We will also continue the Sunny Bay reclamation for providing land reserve to develop a leisure and entertainment node and other uses.
In pursuing development projects, we are committed to protecting the valuable natural and rural environment of Lantau to achieve sustainable development. Adhering to the planning principle of "Development in the North; Conservation for the South” and the policy of “Conservation to precede Developments”, conservation measures will be implemented to enhance the environment capacity while carrying forward infrastructures and development projects. A $1 billion Lantau Conservation Fund will be set up to carry out nature and cultural conservation as well as local improvement works for Lantau. Currently, we are conducting an ecological study on Pui O, Shui Hau, Tai O and neighbouring areas. Based on the study results, suitable and practicable conservation proposals will be formulated. We also plan to review relevant legislation and map out more effective means to control land filling, dumping of wastes and associated development activities causing environmental damage in areas of high ecological values at Lantau with a view to enhancing protection of the natural beauty of these areas. In the area of leisure and entertainment, we are implementing in phases the Lantau Trails and Recreation Plan to build a network of walking trails and link up heritage, ecological and recreational hotspots where possible to offer diversified sustainable leisure experience as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Developing brownfield sites has always been an important part of our land supply strategy. Covered in the New Development Areas (NDAs) projects under planning and implementation, including those in Kwu Tung North/Fanling North, Hung Shui Kiu, and Yuen Long South, are about 340 hectares of brownfield sites. In view of the strong public aspiration that brownfield sites should be developed to boost housing supply and improve rural planning, we will advance the study covering about 200 hectares of brownfield sites in New Territories North. We will also initiate a study on the remaining 760 hectares of scattered brownfield sites to identify those with greater development potential. As many brownfield sites are now used for port back-up, logistics operations, recycling workshops, and storage of construction machinery and building materials, etc., we need to consider how these existing operations can be handled or relocated in light of the needs of economic development. Meanwhile, we expect to complete two ongoing studies on brownfield operations this year, with a view to formulating relevant policy strategies and implementation measures.
It is Government’s long-established policy that where private land is covered by Government’s plans for public housing development or provision of infrastructure facilities, we will continue to resume the private land concerned pursuant to the Land Resumption Ordinance. To make better use of those privately owned land parcels not covered in Government’s planned development and unleash earlier their development potential, we will start to draw up a framework for a Land Sharing Pilot Scheme (LSPS) that is based on fairness and high transparency, so as to meet the needs for both public and private housing in the short to medium term. We hope to be ready with the details of this framework to support the introduction of the pilot scheme next year, after making reference to the final report of the Task Force on Land Supply. The framework is expected to entail the following key elements:
We also intend to set a time limit and a cap on the area to be handled for the pilot scheme, so that the Government may process projects that are most effective in the short and medium term.
After reviewing the effectiveness of the previous scheme launched between 2010 and 2016, we have decided to reactivate the revitalisation scheme for industrial buildings.
The scheme will include the following measures:
Owing to multiple ownership of some industrial buildings, owners may not be able to reach a consensus in the immediate future over wholesale conversion or redevelopment of the buildings. As such, we will also introduce the following measures to optimise the use of existing industrial buildings:
DEVB will announce the specific details of the above measures in due course, and launch the measures progressively by the end of this year.
At present, around 60% of buildings developed under the Civil Servants’ Co-operative Building Society Scheme (CBS) are zoned as “Residential (A)”, and are clustered in high-density development areas in urban districts. Some of these buildings have not fully utilised the permissible plot ratios and are in the vicinity of public housing estates and their ancillary facilities. Proactively redeveloping such CBS buildings presents the opportunity to fully utilise precious land resources and increase housing supply.
We will invite the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) to identify one to two clusters of CBS lots suitable for high-density development as pilot sites, and to proactively redevelop these sites with a view to bringing planning and social gains and creating positive impacts on the local community. We will request URA to earmark some of the resumed land for public housing development to address community needs.
Subject to the outcome of the planning studies, URA will proceed to acquire the property interests of the identified CBS lots and apply for resumption of land to facilitate redevelopment following established practice for its redevelopment projects. Eligible owner-occupiers who are residing in the CBS flats and affected by URA’s redevelopment projects would be offered cash compensation which is based on the value of a notional seven-year-old replacement flat. For displaced CBS owner-occupiers who have not yet settled the outstanding two-thirds land premium owed to the Government1, we recognise that their choice of replacement flats in the private market may be constrained because a portion of the compensation received by them will need to be used to settle the outstanding land premium. Therefore, as an exceptional arrangement, we propose offering eligible CBS owner-occupiers who have not yet settled the outstanding land premium the opportunity to purchase a subsidised sale flat unit in Dedicated Rehousing Estates to be built and operated by the Hong Kong Housing Society in the urban areas to address their accommodation needs. They will have to comply with other general eligibility criteria applicable to these estates which will be used to provide non-means-tested rehousing to eligible households affected by URA and government development clearance exercises.
Subject to the completion of the planning studies and the approval of the URA Board, URA will submit the implementation proposals to Government in the first half of 2019, with a view to announcing and commencing the pilot projects in the latter half of 2019.
A steering group has been set up under the Planning and Lands Branch of DEVB to explore how best to consolidate and rationalise the standards and definitions adopted by the relevant departments under the bureau (namely Buildings Department (BD), Lands Department and Planning Department) in scrutinising development proposals, such that the approval process can be streamlined without prejudicing the relevant statutory procedures and technical requirements. We have also set up a joint sub-committee under the Land and Development Advisory Committee as a consultative forum comprising wide representation from the industry to consider the streamlining proposals recommended by the steering group. The joint sub-committee has already been consulted on the first batch of streamlining proposals, which cover building height control, site coverage of greenery requirements and landscape requirements, and is generally supportive of the streamlining proposals. Taking into account the views of members of the joint sub-committee, the Government aims to promulgate the revised streamlined arrangements in a few months’ time. The steering group will continue to review development control parameters by phases in consultation with the joint sub-committee.
To streamline the approval process, BD will develop an Electronic Submission Hub (ESH) which will not only allow the industry to submit building plans and applications electronically, but will also enable relevant authorities to process various kinds of plans and applications via the hub. The target is to start accepting electronic submission of plans and applications by phases from 2021/22. The ESH will also facilitate the industry to adopt Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology in the design and construction of private building developments. It will also help BD to provide more integrated e-counter services to registered building professionals and contractors under the Buildings Ordinance and to the general public at large.
To better meet the growing community demand for “Government, Institution or Community” (G/IC) facilities, the Government will pursue more vigorously the “single site, multiple use” model in multi-storey development on government land in order to expedite the delivery of such projects and make optimal use of limited land resources. To this end, a package of measures has been devised to strengthen internal coordination and monitoring in taking forward multi-user G/IC complex.
Starting from site planning, Planning Department will tighten up the site reservation and de-reservation arrangements and recommend a higher reference plot ratio for G/IC sites where circumstances permit. For project delivery, the Government Property Agency will play a coordinating role for G/IC building projects involving multi-bureaux facilities; and be responsible for, amongst others, matching joint users and resolving any interface issues with a view to deriving the optimal G/IC mix with due regard to district needs. For instance, the new arrangements will apply to several “G/IC” projects on the drawing board, including redevelopment of Tuen Mun Clinic, development of an ambulance depot near Sheung Wan Fire Station, and consolidation of facilities on several government sites in Tsuen Wan Town Centre.
1 Under the CBS Scheme, the land was granted by the Government at a concessionary premium equivalent to one-third of the full market land value. CBS owner-occupiers are required to pay the outstanding two-thirds land premium owed to the Government before they could freely dispose of their residing units in the open market.