Development Bureau welcomes revisions to West Rail property developments to meet new quality and sustainable built environment requirements

The West Rail Property Development Limited (WRPDL) has redesigned the schemes at Nam Cheong Station, and Sites Tsuen Wan 5 (Bayside) and Tsuen Wan 5 (Cityside) of the Tsuen Wan West Station, to comply with the new requirements that have come into effect since April 1 this year to foster a quality and sustainable built environment (the QBE requirements), a spokesman for the Development Bureau said today (May 6).

These developments are occupying sites zoned "Comprehensive Development Area" in the Outline Zoning Plans and the revised schemes require the approval of the Town Planning Board (TPB). 

The TPB published the revised schemes today for public inspection until May 27. Its Metro Planning Committee will consider the revised schemes on June 17.

"We welcome the revised schemes which will bring about significant improvements in terms of building separation and permeability, air ventilation as well as greenery coverage for the benefit of residents and the neighbourhood.

"The QBE requirements have been drawn up on the basis of extensive public engagement undertaken by the Council for Sustainable Development, and contain measures to regulate 'inflated buildings'. The requirements are now contained in practice notes issued by the Buildings Department following detailed discussions with professionals in the building and construction industry. They provide objective standards for assessing building designs and suitable incentives for green features in new buildings," the spokesman said. 

In his 2011-12 Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, announced that the WRPDL would redesign the six West Rail property developments on government sites above the West Rail stations to comply with the new QBE requirements which aim at addressing the community's concerns over "inflated buildings". These six developments are at Nam Cheong, Tsuen Wan 5 (Bayside), Tsuen Wan 5 (Cityside), Tsuen Wan 6, Long Ping (North) and Tin Shui Wai.

"These six projects had master layout plans and/or building plans approved by the relevant authorities before the new QBE policy was announced in October 2010 and could actually proceed without any change. However, since they are government sites yet to be tendered, the Administration has taken the initiative to subject them to the new QBE requirements. 

"The opportunity has been taken to also increase the proportion of small and medium-sized flats in these West Rail projects. Under the three revised schemes for Nam Cheong, Tsuen Wan 5 (Bayside) and Tsuen Wan 5 (Cityside), the number of units with a saleable area of 50 square metres or less has been doubled to about 4,300, out of a total of about 6,700 units," the spokesman added.  

As pointed out by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in announcing the 2011-12 Land Sale Programme, these three West Rail sites, estimated to yield some 6,700 units, are an important source of housing land supply. Subject to TPB's approval, the WRPDL plans to tender these sites in the third and fourth quarters of 2011. The successful tenderer will then submit general building plans to the Building Authority for approval following the new QBE requirements.

"These revised schemes meet the new QBE requirements and are improvements over the approved schemes. We are confident that the public, as well as the Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan District Councils which have been closely monitoring these projects, will appreciate the Government's initiative and render their support. Representatives from the Development Bureau and the MTR Corporation Limited, which is managing these projects on behalf of WRPDL, will attend the relevant District Council meetings to solicit their support.

"We are determined to increase housing land supply. To date, we have already announced the sale by auction or tender of a total of nine residential sites in the April to June quarter and they are capable of producing some 3,000 flats. We will continue our efforts to make housing land available for development as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

A note on key improvements of the redesigned schemes at Nam Cheong, Tsuen Wan 5 (Bayside) and Tsuen Wan 5 (Cityside) is attached.

Ends/Friday, May 6, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:44