LCQ11: Sites already rezoned for purpose of public housing development

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hak-kan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (May 20):
A site located at the junction of Sung Wong Toi Road and To Kwa Wan Road, where the Kowloon Animal Management Centre (AMC(K)) of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department as well as the ex-quarters and vehicle workshop of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department are housed, was rezoned in April 2016 for the purpose of public housing development. In a paper recently submitted to the Finance Committee of this Council, the Government indicates its plan to relocate AMC(K) to another place and then complete the demolition work for the vacated AMC(K) in the second quarter of 2024. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) given that the site was rezoned for the aforesaid purpose in as early as 2016, of the reasons why the demolition work concerned will not be completed until 2024 (i.e. after a lapse of eight years); whether the Steering Committee on Land Supply (the Steering Committee) has held discussions and taken follow-up actions in this regard; the anticipated works commencement date of the public housing development project concerned;

(2) of the number of housing projects on sites rezoned for the purpose of public housing development, since 2013, which could not commence as scheduled, and set out in a table the following details of such projects: (i) project names, (ii) site locations, (iii) number of public housing units, (iv) original commencement dates for the works, (v) causes for the works being unable to commence as scheduled, and (vi) latest works progress; and

(3) of the policy bureau or government department responsible for coordinating and supervising the relocation and demolition of government facilities on sites already rezoned for other purposes; the role played by the Steering Committee on the work concerned?
Having consulted the Transport and Housing Bureau, we set out our response to various parts of the question below:
(1) In 2014, the Government proposed to rezone a site at the junction of Sung Wong Toi Road and To Kwa Wan Road for public housing development. Upon the completion of technical studies in early 2015, the relevant rezoning was gazetted in May 2015 and subsequently approved by the Executive Council in April 2016.
To implement the public housing project, the existing Kowloon Animal Management Centre (the Centre) has to be re-provisioned. Upon completion of studies by the relevant departments, it was decided that the Centre will be re-provisioned in the Kai Tak Development Area. The Government has also completed the technical studies for the new Centre and is seeking funding approval from the Legislative Council for the works associated with the re-provisioning. Subject to the funding approval, it is anticipated that the construction works for the new Centre would commence in the third quarter of 2020, with a view to completing the said construction and demolition works by the second quarter of 2024. In addition, the Housing Department (HD) has been working on the planning and design of the public housing project in parallel, with a view to commencing the construction works for the project as soon as possible when the existing Centre is relocated and demolished in 2024, and completing the public housing project in 2027/28. In the process, the HD has been maintaining close liaison with the relevant departments, including the Planning Department (PlanD) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, etc. to jointly take forward the project.
(2) Since 2013, a total of 81 sites have been rezoned for public housing development. The relevant details can be found at Annex. Among them, the public housing projects on 36 sites have been commenced or completed. For the remaining 45 public housing development sites, preparatory works including land resumption and clearance, as well as site formation and infrastructure design and works, etc. are being carried out in accordance with their development timetables. Upon completion of the relevant procedures, the Hong Kong Housing Authority or the Hong Kong Housing Society will commence public housing construction works on sites as soon as possible.
(3) Generally speaking, where sites with existing government facilities are required for housing development or other uses, the departments responsible for the affected facilities would decide whether to permanently or temporarily re-provision the facilities within or outside the district according to their operational needs and the utilisation of the facilities. They may request the relevant departments (such as the PlanD, the Lands Department or the Government Property Agency) to identify land or premises for the purpose of re-provisioning, in order to meet the programme of the proposed use. If relevant departments could not agree on demolition/re-provisioning or timing of site delivery, the matter will be escalated to the relevant policy bureaux for handling and may, if necessary, be submitted to the Steering Committee for discussion.

Ends/Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Issued at HKT 14:50