New Initiatives

(I) Updating Territorial Development Strategy

Strategic land use planning in Hong Kong has a long history, and the last review on territorial development strategy entitled “Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy” (HK2030) was completed and promulgated in 2007. It provides a spatial planning framework for the future development of Hong Kong and sets out the broad directions to be adopted by the Government for land supply and town planning for a time horizon up to 2030. Its recommendations include the implementation of the North East New Territories (NENT) and Hung Shui Kiu (HSK) New Development Areas to meet Hong Kong’s housing and other needs in the medium to long term.

According to the latest projections by the Census and Statistics Department, the growth of Hong Kong’s population will slow down and reach 8.47 million by 2041, and the average household size will reduce from 2.9 in 2011 to 2.7 in 2041. Land demand for various uses (such as housing, economic activities and community facilities) is ever increasing. Moreover, the community has a growing aspiration to have a more spacious living environment and a better quality of life. At the same time, the changing global trends over the past decade, such as enhanced global connectivity and more intensive competition among cities, all point to the need for Hong Kong to catch up on land supply to the economic and social developments needs for sustaining its competitive position.

Against this backdrop, we will update the HK2030 study by examining the strategy and possible options for overall spatial planning, land and infrastructure development beyond 2030, with a view to adopting it as the territorial development strategy to cater for the latest planning circumstances in Hong Kong. In this exercise, we will adopt a problem-solving, proactive, pragmatic and action-oriented approach to handle the thorny planning issues critical to Hong Kong’s future development. We will also have regard to the objectives of our population policy from the perspectives of creating capacity for sustainable growth, planning for a livable high-density city and enhancing economic competitiveness.

(II) Lantau Development

The Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC) established in January 2014 is making good progress. The LanDAC has drawn up the strategic positioning, development directions and work plans for the development of Lantau. We are adopting a multi-pronged approach to take forward a range of development initiatives. In the long term, we are taking forward studies for major land supply projects along the northern Lantau coast and on the proposed artificial islands in central waters between Lantau and Hong Kong Island. Concurrently, we will conduct short-term studies on the planning of various commercial land uses in northern Lantau; on the preliminary feasibility of cable car extension from Ngong Ping to Tai O and provision of spa and resort developments at Cheung Sha and Soko Islands; and on a proposed overall recreation and tourism development strategy for Lantau. In the short term, we will also seek to further the improvement works at Tai O and Mui Wo, and will kick start the revitalisation of Ma Wan Chung in conjunction with the planning of Tung Chung New Town Extension. In addition, we plan to implement a mountain bike network in phases, and carry out more improvement works for road bends in Keung Shan Road and South Lantau Road. We also work with the relevant departments to review the existing closed road permit system in South Lantau and the way that closed road permits are issued for the roads concerned.

(III) Energizing Kowloon East

Since the establishment of the Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO) in 2012, EKEO has advocated the sustainability concept on “walkability” to improve connectivity and enhance the pedestrian environment of Kowloon East. As a continuous effort, we will comprehensively develop the concept of “walkable” Kowloon East in the Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tong Business Areas by various measures. These include exploring ways to facilitate the provision of elevated walkways by the private sector; studying the feasibility of face-lifting Hoi Bun Road Park with a view to strengthening the connectivity between Ngau Tau Kok MTR Station and the Kwun Tong waterfront; studying the feasibility of face-lifting back alleys in Kowloon East to become part of the pedestrian network; and studying the feasibility of constructing a footbridge near Kowloon Bay Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Station to alleviate congestion at the existing pedestrian passages and enhance the connectivity between the Kowloon Bay MTR Station and the future East Kowloon Cultural Centre as well as the residential areas nearby.

With the announcement of the results of the “Kai Tak Fantasy” International Ideas Competition on Urban Planning and Design and “Kai Tak 2.0: Healthy Lift-off” with a Healthy City theme selected as the winning scheme, we will make reference to the outstanding designs and concepts of the winner and other shortlisted entries and commence the planning and engineering studies. “Kai Tak Fantasy” will become a tourism, entertainment and leisure hub for public and visitors’ enjoyment.

We will carry out a pilot study in Kowloon East to examine the feasibility of developing a “Smart City”, such as using technology to enhance pedestrian and vehicular accessibility, to manage district facilities, and to disseminate information to the public in digital format, with a view to making the area a better place to work and play.

We will continue to engage the public and various stakeholders in Kowloon East in formulating our strategy and measures to facilitate the transformation of Kowloon East into an attractive alternative central business district (CBD) to sustain Hong Kong’s long-term economic development.

On-going initiatives

(I) Increasing Land Supply

(a) Land Use Reviews

In order to meet the housing need and for other developments, the Planning Department (PlanD) has conducted reviews over the whole territory on the Government land currently vacant, under Short Term Tenancies or different short-term, Government, Institution or Community and other government uses, as well as Green Belt (GB) sites. Various land use reviews have identified in total some 150 potential housing sites, most of which may be made available for housing development in the five years of 2014-15 to 2018-19 for providing 210 000 flats (over 70% for public housing units), subject to timely amendments to their respective statutory plans for change of land use and/or increase in development intensity. They are an important source of land supply for meeting the housing supply target of providing 480 000 units in the coming ten years from 2015-16 to 2024-25 as in the Long-term Housing Strategy announced in December 2014. In particular, about 70 out of the above 150 sites are GB sites identified after completion of the two stages of the GB review. They cover a total area of about 150 hectares (ha), which account for only about 1% of the total area of land zoned GB in Hong Kong, and are considered suitable for rezoning for residential use.

As reported in the information note on “Increasing Land Supply” we provided to the LegCo Panel on Development on 2 January 2015, we have completed presentation to most of the relevant District Councils on the overview of these some 150 potential housing sites by end December 2014, and statutory plan amendments have already been initiated in respect of 45 of these sites.

The Government will continue to look out for other suitable sites that have potential for residential and other uses in higher demand in the community. We appreciate the different views on land planning and development in the society. To tackle the long-standing problem of land shortage, the community as a whole must put the overall land demand of Hong Kong above their own private personal interests. In this connection, we look forward to working with all sectors of the community to jointly examine, discuss and solve the problem.

(b) Increasing Development Intensity

In the 2014 Policy Address, we announced that, except for the north of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula, the Government considered it feasible to increase the maximum domestic plot ratio currently permitted for other “density zones” in the territory by around 20% as appropriate, planning terms permitting.

In the past year, we have adopted the increased development intensity in the newly identified private and public housing sites, including the some 150 potential housing sites identified where appropriate, with a view to making optimal use of our scarce land resources. Where necessary, the Government will submit planning applications to the Town Planning Board (TPB) to seek approval for increasing the development intensity of individual residential sites. The increased development intensity has also been adopted in on-going planning studies and land use reviews as appropriate, and will apply to all future ones.

In particular, we are reviewing the planning of the Kai Tak Development (KTD), and exploring the feasibility of further increasing the development intensity in order to gain extra floor spaces for both residential and commercial uses.

(c) Exploring Development Opportunities along Rail Lines

Railway property development projects are an important source of private housing land supply. Since 2010-11, a total of six West Rail property development projects have been successfully tendered, capable of providing about 9 100 flats. Other West Rail projects being planned include the sites at Yuen Long Station (about 1 880 flats), Kam Sheung Road Station and Pat Heung Maintenance Centre (about 8 700 flats). The Government will take forward these projects as soon as practicable. In 2014, the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) successfully tendered three projects, capable of providing about 6 100 flats. We will continue to closely liaise with the MTRCL to expedite the implementation of its projects.

In collaboration with the MTRCL, the Government is exploring the development potential of railway stations and related sites along existing and new railway lines (e.g. Siu Ho Wan on Lantau Island) to make optimal use of such land. Planning and technical feasibility studies will be conducted for the potential sites identified as necessary.

(d) Pilot Scheme for Arbitration on Land Premium (Pilot Scheme)

In order to expedite land supply for housing and other uses, the Pilot Scheme was launched in October 2014 to facilitate agreement on land premium payable for lease modification/land exchange applications. It will run for a trial period of two years, to be followed by a review by the Government. Under the Pilot Scheme, the Government may select and offer certain cases for arbitration to determine the amount of land premium. Applicants may similarly apply for arbitration in respect of their respective lease modification/land exchange applications under processing.

(e) Optimising the Use of Land

Policy bureaux will act decisively to optimise the use of land. After careful review, a number of major sites, where the originally earmarked purposes will no longer be pursued, will be made available for housing development or other uses for which the community has more pressing needs. These sites include Tai Po Area 9, the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market Phase 2 site, Tin Shui Wai Areas 112 and 115 and the Queen’s Hill site.

(f) Streamlining Land Administration Process

The Lands Department (LandsD) has been reviewing the processes under lease and implemented enhancement measures, such as simplification of some lease conditions, alignment with the Buildings Department (BD)’s standard in respect of a number of items in approving building plan submission under lease and streamlining the procedures in processing lease modification (including land exchange) applications.  Two consolidated/revised Practice Notes on the processing of building plans under lease were promulgated in August 2014 to assist the trade.  The LandsD will continue to review and, where practicable, implement further suitable measures to facilitate land development.

(g) Revitalisation of Industrial Buildings

The measures to facilitate redevelopment and wholesale conversion of older industrial buildings (the revitalisation measures) came into effect on 1 April 2010 and will expire on 31 March 2016.  The objective of the revitalisation measures is to better utilise the precious land resources of Hong Kong through encouraging the redevelopment and wholesale conversion of existing industrial buildings with a view to meeting Hong Kong’s changing social and economic needs.  Up to end December 2014, the LandsD had received 145 applications under the revitalisation measures, of which 105 applications had been approved, which could provide converted or new floor space with a total gross floor area (GFA) of about 1.24 million square metres (m2)1.

The Government will continue to keep in view the implementation of the revitalisation measures but we have no plan to further refine the initiatives.

1 Excluding the floor space involved in the 24 applications which were subsequently withdrawn/terminated after approval.

(h) Development of the West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station, Pat Heung Maintenance Centre and the Adjoining Areas

In stepping up efforts to put into full play the integrated development of mass transportation and residential property, PlanD will take forward the planning for residential development above the Kam Tin South West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station and Pat Heung Maintenance Centre, with land of about 33 ha in total estimated to provide about 8 700 flats. In parallel, a land-use review of the adjoining areas of about 110 ha was undertaken with a view to identifying more suitable sites for housing development. The findings of the briefings with stakeholders on the land-use review are being reviewed to facilitate further study. The Government will continue to explore vigorously the residential development potential of land along existing and planned railways.

(i) Development of Former Diamond Hill Squatter Areas and Quarry Sites

The development of the former Diamond Hill Squatter Areas (Tai Hom Village) as well as the former Cha Kwo Ling Kaolin Mine, former Lamma Quarry and Anderson Road Quarry (ARQ) is in good progress. The ARQ site is estimated to have a capacity to produce about 9 410 flats, and the former Diamond Hill Squatter Areas some 4 050 public housing flats. We are also considering whether we could make use of private developers’ capacity for these developments.

(j) New Development Areas and New Town Extensions

New Development Areas (NDAs) are a major source of land supply to meet the mid to long-term housing, as well as other social and economic development needs of Hong Kong. The final development proposals of the NENT NDAs (including Kwu Tung North (KTN) and Fanling North (FLN)) were promulgated in July 2013, and the HSK NDA Planning and Engineering Study is in good progress.

The KTN and FLN NDAs will provide about 60 000 new units for an additional population of about 173 000. The proportion of public housing, including Public Rental Housing and Home Ownership Scheme, will be about 60%. Moreover, these NDAs will also offer work places for about 37 000 new jobs. The NENT NDAs development will be implemented in phases for full completion by 2031. The Government has prioritised the works packages so that major housing sites, in particular public housing sites, can be formed first with population intake by 2023 to meet the acute housing demand. The first phase of the NDAs development will provide about 16 000 housing flats to accommodate a total population of about 46 500. The detailed design and associated site investigation for the advance works has commenced in November 2014.

For the HSK NDA, a Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP) has been formulated for the area, which will provide about 446 ha of developable land. The proposals under the PODP will accommodate a new town of a population of about 218 000 (including a new population of about 175 000), about 60 000 additional flats and 100 000 job opportunities. The Stage 2 Community Engagement on the PODP was completed in October 2013. Based on the relevant technical assessments and the public views collected, we are preparing the Recommended Outline Development Plan (RODP) for the Stage 3 Community Engagement to be held later.

We have also continued our work in examining the feasibility of extending the Tung Chung New Town into a distinct community. Please refer to paragraph 43 below on detailed progress.

(k) Development of the New Territories North

Apart from KTN, FLN and HSK NDA, there are vast tracts of undeveloped land in the NT North (including land released from the Frontier Closed Area) that could be considered for meeting the long-term development needs of Hong Kong. A preliminary feasibility study on developing the NT North was commissioned in early 2014 for a comprehensive review of the land use planning for the area to capitalise on infrastructural developments within and adjacent the areas to make the best use of this vast stretch of land for housing, social and economic development.

(l) Review of Deserted Agricultural Land in North District and Yuen Long

To make more gainful use of agricultural land which is currently used mainly for industrial purposes, temporary storage, or deserted, the Government is reviewing a total of about 257 ha of such sites in North District and Yuen Long, with a view to identifying more suitable sites for housing development as soon as possible. In this connection, four areas in Kwu Tung South (KTS), Yuen Long South (YLS), Fanling/Sheung Shui Area 30 (FSS) and Kong Nga Po (KNP) have been identified for planning and engineering studies to ascertain the feasibility of and scope for residential development. The studies on the KTS, YLS and KNP sites are in good progress, while the study on the FSS site will be conducted in two phases, with Phase 1 anticipated to commence in 2015 for completion by 2016, and Phase 2 to commence upon review of Phase 1’s findings.

(m) Converting Suitable Government Sites to Commercial Use

By converting suitable government sites to commercial use, the sites so released will help increase the supply of commercial office space, thereby facilitating the development of different types of economic activities. The Middle Road Carpark in Tsim Sha Tsui was converted to commercial use and sold in September 2014. The Government plans to convert other suitable government sites in the existing Core Business Districts, including the Murray Road Carpark in Central and the Rumsey Street Carpark in Sheung Wan, into commercial uses. Where possible, the Government will release other suitable government sites for commercial uses.

We are also actively pursuing the relocation of the New Territories West Regional Office of the Water Supplies Department (WSD) in Mong Kok to Tin Shui Wai to release the current site of the WSD Office for construction of transport interchange with commercial development above. Subject to funding approval, we plan to commence the construction of the new building in Tin Shui Wai in mid-2015 for completion in end 2017 for vacation of the Mong Kok site afterwards.

(n) Lantau Development

We will continue to press ahead with the following land supply initiatives –

(i) Tung Chung New Town Extension

As mentioned above, we have also continued our work in examining the feasibility of extending the Tung Chung New Town into a distinct community, leveraging on future economic opportunities brought by the anticipated completion of various transport infrastructural projects in Lantau that would help create more jobs for local residents. According to the draft RODP, about 48 000 flats will be provided in the extension area and the first population intake is expected to start in 2023 the earliest. A commercial hub with a total GFA of 850 000 m2 for office, retail and hotel uses is also proposed in Tung Chung East, and it is expected some 40 000 job opportunities could be created. We completed Stage 3 Public Engagement of the Tung Chung New Town Extension study to consult on the RODP from August to October 2014, and expect to complete the study in 2015.

(ii) Topside Development at Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) Island of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

We will commence a planning, engineering and architectural study of topside and underground development at the HKBCF Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to provide a total of GFA of more than 300 000 m2 for commercial offices and other uses. This project will give rise to synergy with the other existing and planned developments in North Lantau, including the developments in Tung Chung and the development of North Commercial District in the airport island by the Airport Authority, and capitalise the opportunities of bridgehead economy after the commissioning of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

(iii) East Lantau Metropolis

We will undertake studies for establishing artificial islands in the central waters between Lantau and Hong Kong Island for developing an East Lantau Metropolis (ELM). With strategic transport links with Hong Kong Island, Lantau and the New Territories West, the ELM has strong potential for development as the third CBD of Hong Kong as well as a new generation of new town accommodating a population of several hundred thousand.

(o) Reclamation Outside the Victoria Harbour and Rock Cavern Development

We will continue further studies on reclamation sites outside Victoria Harbour as a means of increasing land supply. To take into account major environmental considerations up front, we have substantially completed a cumulative environmental impact assessment (CEIA) for the northern Lantau waters including a Chinese White Dolphin Survey. Based on the findings of the CEIA, we will commence a planning and engineering study for the proposed reclamation at Sunny Bay as soon as possible. In addition, we plan to initiate a planning and engineering study for the proposed reclamation at Lung Kwu Tan in 2015. Plans for studies for other potential reclamation sites outside Victoria Harbour based on earlier public engagements conducted in the past years will also be drawn up.

On rock cavern development, we commenced in September 2014 the investigation and design work on the relocation of the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works (STW) to caverns, with a view to releasing the existing site of about 28 ha for other beneficial and compatible uses. The work is in good progress and is scheduled for completion in phases starting from 2017.

In the second half of 2014, we also commenced feasibility studies on the proposed relocation of three other government facilities to caverns, viz. Sai Kung STW, Diamond Hill Fresh Water and Salt Water Service Reservoirs and Sham Tseng STW to release a total of about 6 ha of land with development potential in the urban areas for housing and other uses.

From a broader perspective, we are continuing the study on the long-term strategy for cavern development in Hong Kong. We are preparing territory-wide Cavern Master Plans and formulating policy guidelines to facilitate future cavern development. Formulation of an implementation programme for relocating suitable government facilities to caverns are also on-going and prospective projects with clear users’ demand and support are being identified.

(p) Underground Space Development

On the enhanced use of underground space as another source of land supply, we are conducting a territory-wide study to identify opportunities and constraints arising from more extensive underground space development in the urban areas of Hong Kong. We are developing preliminary conceptual schemes for providing more space for commercial and other uses, relocation of incompatible facilities to underground space thereby releasing surface land for other beneficial uses, and enhancing connectivity in the areas under study.

Recognising the limited surface land in the conventional business and commercial areas in Hong Kong for further development, and the road congestion problem in these areas, we have selected four strategic urban areas, viz. Causeway Bay, Happy Valley, Admiralty/Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui West, for conducting a detailed pilot study on underground space development. We aim to formulate a master plan for underground space development for each of these areas with priority projects identified for early implementation. Subject to the LegCo’s funding approval, we plan to commence the pilot study in the first half of 2015.

(q) Kai Tak Development

The KTD is being implemented progressively with essential major infrastructure projects, including those at the north and south apron areas and at the former runway, in good progress. To enhance the connectivity to facilitate the transformation of Kowloon East into another CBD, we have proposed to introduce a multi-modal linkage system in the form of an Environmentally Friendly Linkage System (EFLS) augmented by improved pedestrian walkway and other green transport. We have completed the preliminary feasibility study on the proposed EFLS including two-stage public consultations. Subject to the LegCo’s funding approval, we plan to commence a detailed feasibility study in mid-2015.

(II) Harbourfront Development

The Government will continue to work with the Harbourfront Commission to engage the public in planning, land use and urban design to carry out the stated mission to protect and beautify the Victoria Harbour for the enjoyment of all. The Harbourfront Commission and DEVB have completed Phase 2 Public Engagement Exercise on the proposed establishment of a Harbourfront Authority in late December 2014. We will consolidate the views collected and decide on the way forward with a view to delivering an attractive, vibrant, accessible and sustainable harbourfront.

(III) Building Maintenance and Urban Renewal

(a) Enhancing Building Safety in Hong Kong

Since April 2011, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach covering legislation, enforcement, support and assistance to owners, as well as publicity and public education to further enhance building safety in Hong Kong.

In the past few years, we have launched through legislation a number of systems and schemes to enhance building safety, notably the Validation Scheme for Unauthorised Signboards, the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme, the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme and the Minor Works Control System. We will continue to monitor the implementation of these systems and schemes.

On the enforcement front, the BD has since April 2011 adopted a revised enforcement policy against unauthorised building works (UBWs) by extending the coverage of actionable UBWs to include all UBWs (except minor amenity features) on the façade of a building. BD will continue to implement the enforcement policy and take enforcement action against UBWs through large-scale operations. In particular, BD will enhance the prosecution action against owners who fail to comply with statutory orders in the enforcement action against industrial buildings suspected to have sub-divided flats for residential use and continue to take enforcement action against irregularities relating to building and fire safety in sub-divided flats in residential and composite buildings.

As regards UBWs in New Territories Exempted Houses, BD will continue to conduct village-by-village surveys for enforcement against UBWs which constitute serious contravention of the law and impose higher potential risks to building and public safety.

On support and assistance for building owners, we have been working closely with the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) and the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) to assist owners in need to carry out repair and maintenance works through the Operation Building Bright, the Integrated Building Maintenance Assistance Scheme and other assistance schemes. We will continue our efforts on this front. As regards publicity, we will continue to launch various publicity initiatives through tailor-made channels to foster a building safety culture in Hong Kong and disseminate building safety messages.

(b) Urban Renewal

The Government promulgated the Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) on 24 February 2011. The latest progress with the key initiatives contained in the URS is set out below –

(i) Demand-led Redevelopment Project Pilot Scheme (Demand-led Scheme)

Since the launch of the Demand-led Scheme in July 2011, URA has commenced 10 projects, two of which have been terminated after having failed to meet the 80% owners’ acceptance threshold by the specified deadline.

While the Demand-led Scheme has been well-received, URA is facing the challenge of an increasing number of applications involving sites with larger areas and which require the consideration of more varied factors. For the purpose of maintaining a sustainable urban renewal programme that balances the objective of achieving better land use and improved living conditions for the affected households and, at the same time, is capable of being self-financed in the long run, URA has conducted a review of the scheme. During the process, URA consulted the LegCo Panel on Development, its seven District Advisory Committees and the District Councils of the major URA redevelopment areas. The review findings were announced by URA on 5 December 2014. The major revisions to the scheme include –

  1. raising the application threshold of requiring not less than 67% owners’ consent to not less than 80% owners’ consent so that the ‘demand-led’ projects to be selected in future will have secured a higher degree of support from the incumbent owners at the point of application in order to enhance the chance for the project to proceed smoothly;

  2. increasing the minimum site size of applications from 400 m2 to 700 m2 so as to enhance the planning gain and efficiency of floor layout of the ‘demand-led’ project upon redevelopment; and

  3. assigning greater weighting to the conditions of buildings covered by the applications in the project selection process. If the application involves buildings with outstanding building orders issued by the BD, scores will be deducted. This is to make it clear that URA does not encourage owners to neglect their duty of building maintenance and management by seeking redevelopment of their buildings through the Demand-led Scheme.

URA plans to invite applications to the fourth round of the scheme in 2015-16 under the revised application requirements and scoring criteria.

(ii) District Urban Renewal Forum

Another highlight of the 2011 URS is the establishment of the Kowloon City District Urban Renewal Forum (KC DURF) which was set up to advise the Government on a holistic and integrated approach to renew the Kowloon City district. KC DURF had submitted the District Urban Renewal Plan (the Plan) for Kowloon City to the Government. We are studying the Plan and will follow up on the recommendations where appropriate in our future urban renewal efforts in the district. We will also consider an appropriate time when a second DURF should be set up in the light of the experience of KC DURF.

(iii) Urban Renewal Trust Fund

The $500 million independent Urban Renewal Trust Fund set up by URA has been providing funding support to social service teams appointed to provide assistance and advice to residents affected by URA redevelopment projects. In 2012, the Fund launched the Urban Renewal Heritage Preservation and District Revitalisation Funding Scheme (Funding Scheme) under which funding had been approved for seven projects proposed by community groups. The Board of the Fund is currently conducting a review on the Funding Scheme.

(iv) Subsidised Sale Flats

To help meet the demand for subsidised sale flats from low and middle-income families, we will actively explore with URA how it can contribute to increasing the supply of subsidised sale flats to provide more property choices and home ownership opportunities for these families.

(c) Lifts and Escalators Ordinance

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) will continue to enforce the Lifts and Escalators Ordinance (LEO) including the registration of qualified persons, provide assistance to Responsible Persons2 (who include building owners) to manage their lifts and escalators, conduct inspections, promote modernisation of aged lifts, and conduct public education in particular for the Responsible Persons on their obligations under the LEO to enhance the safety of lifts and escalators in Hong Kong. In consultation with the Lift and Escalator Safety Advisory Committee, EMSD implemented a series of improvement measures in 2014 including revamping the performance rating scheme of registered contractors and releasing the lift maintenance prices of government and private residential buildings for reference by the Responsible Persons.

2 Responsible Person is a person who owns the lift or escalator or any other person who has the management or control of the lift or escalator.

(IV) Improving Pedestrian Environment and Enhancing External Links

(a) Cycle Track Network in the New Territories

We continue to develop a cycle track network in the NT.  The cycle track from Ma On Shan to Sheung Shui was completed and opened to public in March 2014.  We are carrying out the planning and detailed design for the remaining sections of the system.  Subject to the LegCo’s funding approval, the construction works for the section from Sheung Shui to Tuen Mun are scheduled to commence by end 2015.

(b) Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point Project

The site formation works for the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point (BCP) are in good progress and construction of the connecting road has commenced in phases since July 2013. The regulation of Shenzhen River stage IV is also making good progress. The design for the buildings works and associated facilities of the BCP was substantially completed in March 2014. We plan to seek the LegCo’s funding approval in early 2015 with a view to commencing construction of the BCP buildings in the first half of 2015 for completion in 2018.

(V) Energizing Kowloon East

The Government continues to push ahead the policy initiatives of Energizing Kowloon East. We will announce our Conceptual Master Plan version 4.0 in January 2015 which is a continuous improvement on our previous versions and has incorporated public views collected from many engagement activities.

In 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years, three sites in Kowloon East were sold providing about 140 000 m2 commercial/office floor area in total. Two more government sites in the same district have been included in the 2014-15 Land Sale Programme to provide an addition of about 120 000 m2 commercial/office floor area. Since 2012, 13 private development projects have been completed with about 260 000 m2 commercial/office floor area in total. In the next five years, the estimated supply of new commercial/office floor area in Kowloon East is about 900 000 m2. The momentum of increasing commercial/office floor supply in Kowloon East will continue.

To expedite the release of development potential in Kowloon East, we are taking forward the relocation of some existing government facilities including the vehicle examination centres, waste recycling centre and driving test centre in the Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tong Action Areas. A planning and engineering study on the Kowloon Bay Action Area was commissioned in August 2014 for completion around end 2015. We are also working with the Transport Department and other relevant departments to develop the design and technical requirements for the new vehicle examination centre. The two Action Areas have the potential to supply about 500 000 m2 of commercial/office floor area in total.

To improve connectivity and enhance the pedestrian environment, we have formulated short, medium and long term improvement proposals for the Kowloon Bay Business Area. A similar study in the Kwun Tong Business Area is under way to enhance walkability and traffic condition in the area.

On improving the environment, the Kwun Tong Promenade Phase 2 would be opened to the public in the second quarter of 2015. In the meantime, various public open spaces and face-lifting projects are in progress. Among which, the face-lifting of Tsun Yip Street Playground Phase 1 showcases our study findings on industrial heritage of Kowloon East and its potential for public art and urban design. We are also collaborating with the Drainage Services Department, the Architectural Services Department and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to convert the existing King Yip Street nullah into Tsui Ping River by providing riverside walkway, improving neighbouring pedestrian facilities and providing more greening along the river. Trees and greenery will also be planted at Lai Yip Street, Hoi Bun Road and various locations in Kowloon East.

“Diversity” is one of our key development strategies. We will continue to explore opportunities to provide spaces for operation of arts, culture and creative industries. These include utilising the unused spaces underneath Kwun Tong Bypass. We have undertook a Market Sounding Exercise for “Creativity, Arts and Culture under Kwun Tong Bypass” from November 2013 to January 2014 to invite non-profit-making organisations to share their ideas and concepts for operating an existing venue, “Fly the Flyover 01” (FF01), as well as two adjacent sites (FF02 and 03) which are current vacant government lands. We aim at identifying the most suitable operator by early 2015 as our project partner to manage and operate this contemporary creative and cultural hub for public enjoyment. We are also exploring opportunities to provide suitable space within the new development projects (e.g. Kwun Tong Action Area) to support the development of the creative industries.

It is a complicated and long process to transform Kowloon East into another premier CBD in Hong Kong. We have to strike a balance among the needs of different stakeholders. As of December 2014, more than 300 briefings, seminars, workshops, forums, exhibitions and visits with more than 9 000 participants were held. Besides, about 60 place-making activities by various groups with more than 90 000 participants, including street dance competitions, band performances, running events, photography workshops, outdoor film shows, carnivals, art and craft workshops, architecture exhibitions, cycling competition, fashion show and bazaar were held in “Fly the Flyover 01” (FF01) and the Kai Tak runway tip. We will continue to maintain a close dialogue with the community to gather public views to further improve our work on Kowloon East.