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Land and Building Advisory Committee briefed on Policy Address Initiatives

At the meeting today (October 18), the Land and Building Advisory Committee (LBAC) was briefed on the Initiatives of Development Bureau (DEVB) in the 2007-08 Policy Address and Policy Agenda.

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, briefed Members on the new and ongoing initiatives under the DEVB which contributed to the two themes of "Ten Major Infrastructure Projects to Boost Our Economy" and "Quality City and Quality Life" in the Policy Address. DEVB will seek to speed up infrastructural development and strike a balance between development and heritage conservation. The Government will actively engage the community in mapping out the implementation details of the heritage conservation measures.

Members generally welcomed the launch of ten major infrastructure projects, believing that it would help boost Hong Kong's economy, strengthen Hong Kong's competitiveness, and create more job opportunities. They would render their support to the Administration in bringing the various projects, such as New Development Areas, cooperation with Shenzhen and Kai Tak development, into fruition.

Members also supported the Administration's direction in striking a balance between development and heritage conservation so that the public interest could be best served. They would offer their advice on initiatives such as revitalization of historic buildings from the building safety angle.

Members would continue to provide advice and work closely with the Administration in taking forward the priorities of land, planning and building issues in the future. They would offer their ideas on contemporary concepts on urban design and architecture, and design in public work projects.

Representatives from HAB attended the meeting to brief Members on the recommendations of the Consultative Committee (CC) on the Core Arts and Cultural Facilities of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) and to solicit their advice.

The discussion focused largely on planning and land related issues, particularly the development parameters proposed in the recommendation report. Members were generally supportive of the recommendations of the CC on developing the WKCD. Members welcomed the unique opportunity offered by WKCD, which was a prime site and located at the harbourfront, to provide low-intensity development with ample open space embracing a vibrant harbourfront and easily-accessible promenade for public enjoyment. Members also noted that the arrangements were consistent with the prevailing land administration policies, and would complement the financing of WKCD projects in a prudent and transparent manner.

Members noted that as set out in the Policy Address, the Government endeavoured to speed up the planning and approval procedures for private works. Members welcomed the Administration's initiative to continue to work together with stakeholders to find ways to enhance the development process. Time should be allowed for this process, and the Committee would be pleased to offer its advice to the Administration in due course.

Ends/Thursday, October 18, 2007
Issued at HKT 21:28

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