LCQ20: Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines

​Following is a question by the Hon Kenneth Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, in the Legislative Council today (July 12):


The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) stipulates the Government's general guidelines for determining the scale of community facilities and infrastructures according to the population and other factors. There are views that as the HKPSG has been in use for more than 40 years, most of its planning standards can no longer cater for the actual needs of various districts. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the details of revisions made to the HKPSG by various government departments in the past 10 years, including (i) the names of the departments, (ii) the dates of the revisions, (iii) the details of the revisions, and (iv) the justifications for the revisions (set out in a table);

(2) as it is learnt that the current provision of certain types of district facilities has fallen short of the standards stipulated in the HKPSG, whether the Government will establish a mechanism to review and follow up the problem of different district facilities lagging behind the standards stipulated in the HKPSG, and put forward solutions; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) as it is learnt that quite a number of ancillary facilities (including shopping malls, recreation and sports facilities, as well as primary and secondary school premises) in new development areas (NDAs) have yet to be completed after resident intake, whether the Government has set clear requirements on the construction progress for various types of ancillary facilities in the NDAs, so as to ensure the proper completion of such facilities and the fulfilment of population-based provision standards as stipulated in the HKPSG in a timely manner; and

(4) whether it will comprehensively review and enhance the various standards stipulated in the HKPSG, so as to tie in with the implementation of major planning and infrastructure projects, such as the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy and the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands?



​The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) sets out the Government’s criteria for determining the scale, location and site requirements of various land uses and facilities. It ensures that the Government will reserve adequate land during the planning process to support social and economic development and provide appropriate public facilities to meet the needs of the public.

Urban planning must be people-oriented, with care taken to suit the local circumstances and keep pace with the times. The HKPSG covers planning standards in various policy areas including housing development, community facility, recreation and leisure, industry, transport, environmental conservation. Bureaux/departments (B/Ds) will from time to time review and revise planning standards under their respective policy purviews based on the latest policy intent and social circumstances. The Planning Department (PlanD) will help B/Ds incorporate the updated or new standards into the HKPSG.

In the past ten years, the HKPSG has been revised for about 20 times based on review results of B/Ds. For example, in view of the target to boost housing supply, the PlanD revised the HKPSG in 2016 to incorporate guidelines on the maximum domestic plot ratio for housing development intensity. To cope with the ageing population and meet citizens’ needs for social welfare facilities, the HKPSG was revised based on the Social Welfare Department (SWD)’s advice in 2018, 2020 and 2022, incorporating population-based planning standards and guidelines for elderly services and facilities, child care centres and rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities respectively. In 2021, the HKPSG was updated on the Transport Department’s advice to reflect requirements on parking spaces for residential developments and retail facilities. To implement and promote the policy on use of electric vehicles, the Environmental Protection Department added planning standards and guidelines on electric vehicle charging stations in 2022. Looking ahead, the HKPSG will be further revised to reflect updates on average provision of open space per person and urban design guidelines.

What the HKPSG sets out are basic planning standards. When it comes to application, instead of solely relying on the HKPSG, B/Ds will exercise flexibility and take specific circumstances of the community into full consideration to cater for the actual needs of the public.

My reply to the various parts of the question is as follows: 

(1) Some examples of revisions to the HKPSG made by B/Ds are set out above. For the full list of revisions made in the last ten years (2013 to 2023), please refer to the Annex.

(2) The PlanD will reserve land for various public facilities on the relevant layout plans based on the HKPSG. The responsible departments will take forward the relevant items based on their priorities and resource considerations. Relevant departments will also, through District Management Committees and various working groups under the District Council, maintain close liaison with district personalities and report the progress of development projects to local residents, so as to ensure that the relevant facilities can be completed and put into service in time.

(3) & (4) As mentioned above, when planning developments based on the HKPSG, the Government will not only rigidly apply the standards.  It will make adjustments as appropriate, taking into consideration future circumstances of the community as well as policy considerations, so as to develop a balanced and well-equipped community and meet the needs of the population of the New Development Areas (NDAs). Take the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands and San Tin Technopole as examples, as “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030” proposes that the land per person ratios for Government, Institution and Community facilities and open space be both enhanced to 3.5 square metres per person, the PlanD has already reserved land based on this new standard, so that relevant B/Ds may take forward the relevant plans accordingly.

On implementation, for each NDA project, there is a co-ordinating committee mechanism led by a Project Manager (Directorate Grade 3 Officer) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department, where B/Ds (such as the Education Bureau, the Health Bureau, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the SWD, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department) are regularly informed of the progress of the relevant infrastructure works and the expected population intake, such that they may plan and prepare to take forward their facilities in a timely manner. 

Ends/Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:15