Public views welcome on conceptual study for Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary

In response to media enquiries on the public consultation carried out by the Planning Department for the "Study on Action Plan for the Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary" (the Study), a spokesman for the Development Bureau said today (February 9) that the Administration would continue to listen to public views, and further briefing sessions and discussion forums would be held over the next two months.

The spokesman stressed that, as explained by the Planning Department, the Study is conceptual with a view to enhancing the livability of the Bay Area.  Initial study results as contained in the Public Consultation Digest reflect increasing public aspirations for green, quality and low carbon living with an emphasis on connectivity, nature and cultural conservation amongst people from the three places.

"Unlike recent planning and engineering studies conducted jointly by the Planning Department and the Civil Engineering and Development Department under the steer of the Development Bureau, such as the New Development Areas and the Lok Ma Chau Loop, the Bay Area Study does not involve any specific projects.

"Governments of the three places will formulate their respective action plans or projects to realise the objectives and directions identified in the Study, taking into consideration their individual circumstances and in accordance with their established mechanisms," the spokesman added.

While overseen by the Planning Department working together with their counterparts in Macao and Guangdong, an expert panel comprising six academics in the fields of planning, environment, business and social service has been providing valuable input to the Study since its commencement last April.

"Some of our experts took part in the public forum held on January 29, which was attended by more than 100 persons of various backgrounds, including professionals as well as members of the public.

"In the next two months, the Planning Department will organise a few more discussion forums to receive public views.  We will invite our local experts to share their views on what constitute 'liveable cities'.  We welcome all who are interested to attend," said the spokesman.

The Development Bureau has already approached the Legislative Council Secretariat to suggest inclusion of the Bay Area Study item for the coming meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Development, to be held on February 22.

Details concerning the Planning Department's public forums will be announced in due course.  The department will also review the consultation materials with a view to making these more reader-friendly.

"Meanwhile, members of the public who have any views on the Study are welcome to submit these to the Planning Department, either in writing or via the dedicated Study website, .

"The Study is still on-going and we expect a more comprehensive and detailed report to be  available later this year," the spokesman said.

Ends/Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:32