NENT NDAs Study PE3 extended to end of September

The spokesperson for the Planning Department (PlanD) and the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) said today (August 23) that in response to requests from the affected residents and members of the public, the Stage 3 Public Engagement (PE3) of the North East New Territories New Development Areas (NENT NDAs) Planning and Engineering Study will be extended to the end of September.

Taking into account the opinions of the attendees at the meeting with Fanling residents last Saturday (August 18), the Government will hold a forum at 2.30pm on September 22 (Saturday) at HHCKLA Buddhist Ma Kam Chan Memorial English Secondary School, 9 Luen Yick Street, Luen Wo Market, Fanling, to gather public views on the NENT NDAs Study. The Government understands the wishes of the affected residents, and hopes to continue to communicate with the residents in a rational manner.

The spokesperson stressed that the main objective of the NENT NDAs Study is to address the housing and employment demand arising from population growth. Notwithstanding that recent population projections released by the Census and Statistics Department indicate slower population growth as compared with previous projections, there will still be an increase of about 1.4 million people in the coming 30 years. The community still has a strong demand for land for housing and economic development.

The spokesperson said, "There are about 530 hectares of developable land within the NENT NDAs, and nearly 30 per cent (150 hectares) of this area will be reserved for residential use, providing approximately 53,800 new residential units for public and private housing development for a population of about 150,000 people. The proposed overall public and private housing mix is 43 per cent and 57 per cent, equivalent to 23,100 public residential units and 30,700 private residential units. Subject to the public views collected from the PE3, the Government would further examine the possibility of identifying suitable sites from the proposed private housing sites for new Home Ownership Scheme developments. To maintain a balanced social structure in the community, we must pay attention to the overall public and private housing mix to avoid the type of social problems found in Tin Shui Wai which might arise from over-concentration of public housing.

"Having regard to the importance of providing jobs within the same district, the NENT NDAs will provide more than 52,000 new employment opportunities. About half of them will come from the Commercial, Research and Development uses in Kwu Tung North and the area for Special Industries in Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling, while the other half will be associated with facilities supporting the residential developments in the areas, for example, retail, services and community facilities, etc."

While the planning of the NENT NDAs seeks to minimise impacts on the existing residents as much as possible, it is inevitable that some residents would be affected by NDA development. In response to the demand of the affected residents for local rehousing, we have reserved a site of about 3.2 hectares in the Kwu Tung North NDA to provide opportunity for rehousing eligible affected households locally. In addition, the Government is now reviewing the existing compensation and rehousing policy to provide better arrangements for facilitating site clearance in the implementation of major infrastructure projects such as NDA development.

The NENT NDAs are not a new initiative commenced in recent years. Back in the 1990s, the Territorial Development Strategy Review conducted by the Government suggested that the potential for strategic growth in the North East New Territories areas should be examined. The HK2030 Study, completed in 2007, recommended proceeding with the Kwu Tung North, Fanling North and Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling NDAs as well as the Hung Shui Kiu NDA to address long-term housing demand and provide employment opportunities.

The NENT NDAs Study was commissioned in 2008 after obtaining funding approval from the Legislative Council. It aims at establishing a planning and development framework for the NDAs and to formulate a development and implementation strategy. PlanD and CEDD have already completed the first two stages of the Study. The final PE3 commenced in mid-June to gauge public views on the Recommended Outline Development Plans and related issues. After the completion of PE3, the Recommended Outline Development Plans would be further amended in response to the comments received, more in-depth technical assessments would be conducted, and detailed layout plans would be formulated. The Study is scheduled for completion by mid-2013.

Ends/Thursday, August 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:35