LDAC briefed on North East New Territories New Development Areas and Energizing Kowloon East initiatives

The Land and Development Advisory Committee (LDAC) held the first meeting today (September 27) since the commencement of its new term on July 1.

Members were consulted by the Planning Department and the Civil Engineering and Development Department on the Recommended Outline Development Plans (RODPs) for the North East New Territories (NENT) New Development Areas (NDAs) Planning and Engineering Study. Members noted that the Study had established a planning and development framework for the Kwu Tung North, Fanling North and Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling NDAs and formulated development plans and implementation strategy to create sustainable communities for the people of Hong Kong.

According to the RODPs, the NDAs will provide about 150 hectares of housing land for a total of 53,800 new residential units to accommodate about 150,000 people. About 52,100 new jobs will be created in the NDAs. The Study has adopted a three-stage Public Engagement (PE) Programme to foster consensus building. The Stage 3 PE exercise is now under way until the end of September and public views received during the PE exercise would be taken into account in refining the RODPs.

Members generally agreed that there was an urgent need to make available additional land for the future development of Hong Kong. On the NENT NDAs, they expressed valuable views and comments on various aspects of the project, including how the NDAs could help cater for Hong Kong's population growth; how the housing supply there could address housing demands of the community; how to make use of the NDAs to facilitate development of special industries that would be conducive to the long-term development of Hong Kong; job opportunities arising from the NDAs; the possible impacts on the existing land uses and local residents in the areas; the scale and density of the NDAs development; and the mode of implementation of the NDAs development. They suggested that the Government should widely consult the local people and the community at large in considering how to take forward the NENT NDAs development.

In today's meeting, members were also briefed by the Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO) on their initiatives and proposals to transform Kowloon East into another central business district to support Hong Kong's long-term economic development. Members noted that the Conceptual Master Plan aims to enhance intra-district and external connectivity, improve the urban environment and release the development potential of under-utilised government land in Kowloon East. They also noted that the estimated potential supply of office space in Kowloon East would be around 5.4 million square metres, which is about double the existing stock in Central.

Some priority projects would soon be triggered in 2012 and early 2013, e.g. the space underneath the Kwun Tong Bypass for arts and cultural uses; weekly carnivals in Tsun Yip Street Playground, which would later be transformed into an industrial heritage park; and a comprehensive study on improving the pedestrian environment of the Kowloon Bay Business Area as well as on its industrial heritage. These projects aim to use place-making in forming quality public area in Kowloon East and bringing arts and culture to city life. Members noted that the place-making approach which the EKEO has adopted to transform Kowloon East could enhance the image and quality of public space in the Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay Business Areas.

Ends/Thursday, September 27, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:01