Following is a question by the Hon Timothy Fok and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning and Lands, Mr John C Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (April 17):
It has been reported that the Planning Department ("PD") drew up the planning brief for the South East Kowloon Development ("SEKD") about three years ago. However, the planning brief had to be revised because certain proposals therein were opposed by the trade. In June last year, the PD conducted a public consultation exercise on the revised planning brief and recently it received a research report on the revised brief from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The PD subsequently decided that a consultant should be commissioned to study the recommendations in the report and the study would last for one year. As a result, the implementation of the SEKD has been further delayed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) when the planning brief for the SEKD is expected to be finalized and how this schedule compares to the original schedule;
(b) whether it has made a cost comparison between the original and the latest planning briefs; and
(c) whether it will conduct another public consultation exercise after finalizing the planning brief; if so, of the details and timetable; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) In August last year, the Planning Department gazetted the revised planning brief for the South East Kowloon Development ("SEKD") (specified as Kai Tak (South) and Kai Tak (North) Outline Zoning Plans). During the gazettal period, the Town Planning Board (the Board) received new comments on the South East Kowloon Development plan. After careful consideration, the Board recommended further amendments to the Kai Tak (South) Outline Zoning Plan to provide more flexibility for future developments. The revised Kai Tak (South) and Kai Tak (North) Outline Zoning Plans will be submitted to the Executive Council for deliberation and decision in June this year as scheduled.
(b) To tie in with the construction of public housing estates and facilities such as the stadium in the area, the Territory Development Department has entered into a consultancy contract for the detailed design of the infrastructures for the development and reclamation works at the North Apron area and Kai Tak Nullah. Good progress has been made so far. As the reclamation is substantially scaled down, the capital works expenditures of the present proposal cost about $6 billion less than that of the SEKD scheme announced in 1998.
(c) The Government has conducted extensive public consultation on the SEKD in the past few years and the present development scheme is generally acceptable to the community. Therefore we will not conduct another public consultation exercise after finalizing the development scheme. However, in response to public views and to improve the urban design of the SEKD, the Planning Department will commission a 12-month consultancy study to provide detailed urban design guidelines for the development and works projects concerned. The study is expected to commence in the middle of the year. During the study, the Planning Department will consult the concerned professional bodies and other interested parties on the matter.
End/Wednesday, April 17, 2002