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Legislative Council Question 3 : "Container back-up area" by the Hon Miriam Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council

Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (February 22):

Question:

As the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor will soon be completed, the flow of cross-boundary goods vehicles passing through areas around Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Lau Fau Shan is expected to increase substantially following the opening of the corridor, hence leading to an increased demand for container back-up area in that district. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the existing number of land lots in Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Lau Fau Shan which have been designated as container back-up area and open storage space for containers; and

(b) whether it will designate more land to serve such purposes in areas near the Deep Bay Link, in order to cope with the future growth in the flow of goods vehicles; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

My reply to the two-part question is as follows:

(a) According to the current outline zoning plans covering the areas around Yuen Long and Lau Fau Shan, a total of about 386 hectares of land zoned "Open Storage", "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Service Stations" and "Industrial (Group D)" may be used as container back-up area and open storage space for containers.

(b) The Town Planning Board (the Board) notes the need of the industry to find land for container back-up use. In order to achieve a balance between the socio-economic needs of the community and the proper use of land, the Board drew up a set of planning guidelines for "Application for Open Storage and Port Back-Up Uses under the Town Planning Ordinance" (the Guidelines) in as early as 1994. The Guidelines aim to serve as a reference for members of the industry who make applications for the said use.

The Guidelines have been reviewed and revised a number of times in the light of planning consideration and the actual needs of the community. In November last year, the Board made further amendments to the Guidelines having regard to the requests of the industry as well as the views of the local residents and environmental groups. Under the revised set of Guidelines (see Annex), the land classified as Category 1 areas has increased from 617 hectares to 846 hectares, i.e. a total increase of 229 hectares. Most of the additional Category 1 areas are located at Ha Tsuen, Tong Yan San Tsuen and San Tin etc. in Yuen Long. We expect that this will help meet the growing demand for such land use upon the completion of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor.

As to whether more land in that district will be designated as container back-up area and open storage space for containers, depending on the demand for the concerned land use, the Planning Department will submit the relevant land use planning proposal for the Board's approval after taking into account factors such as environmental impact, transportation support and views of the residents nearby.

Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Issued at HKT 15:19

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