The Government announced today (July 4) the result of the North East New Territories New Development Areas (NENT NDAs) Planning and Engineering Study.
"The NENT NDAs is a new generation new town planned for Hong Kong people. It addresses mainly the needs for housing and social economic developments. The population of Hong Kong is estimated to increase by about 1.4 million in the coming 30 years. Coupled with the decrease in the average household size and continuous growth of the economy, demand for various kinds of land supply will remain strong. The Government has to adopt a multi-pronged approach to provide new land supply," the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, said at a press conference.
"The NENT NDAs Planning and Engineering Study has gone through three stages of public engagement over the past few years. The Government has received numerous views from a wide range of channels. After careful examination, key changes have been made to respond to the public's comments as far as possible. We will first proceed with two NDAs in Kwu Tung North (KTN) and Fanling North (FLN) as extension to Fanling/Sheung Shui New Town. Upon completion of the extension areas, with a new population of over 170,000, the overall population of the Fanling/Sheung Shui/Kwu Tung New Town will reach 460,000," Mr Chan said.
"To make the best use of land, in particular, to increase housing land supply, after taking into account the capacity of infrastructure and environmental constraints, we have optimised the development intensity in KTN and FLN, which includes increasing the plot ratio of the central areas from 3.5-5 to 6. The number of housing units to be provided in the new extension areas will increase by about 13,400 from about 47,300 to 60,700 to accommodate 174,900 people, more than the 53,800 units originally planned for the three NDAs in the NENT," he added.
Mr Chan pointed out that the ratio of subsidised housing in KTN and FLN will increase from less than half to 60 per cent. Part of the land initially planned for private housing development (about 16 hectares) has been changed for developing subsidised housing, including public rental housing and Home Ownership Scheme flats. The number of subsidised housing units will increase from 23,100 to 36,600, while the number of private housing units will be revised from 24,200 to 24,100. The land area for subsidised housing has also increased from the original 31 per cent to 47 per cent.
"Subject to the property market situation prevailing at the time and other relevant considerations, the Government plans to apply the 'Hong Kong Property for Hong Kong People' measure to private residential sale sites in the two new town extension areas," Mr Chan added.
Due to the absence of rail link and other supporting infrastructure, the Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling NDA was originally planned for lower density residential and special industry developments. In response to the 2013 Policy Address which put forward an initiative to review the development potential of New Territories North, including new opportunities brought about by new railway infrastructure, the Government will re-plan Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling and consult the public again.
On compensation and rehousing arrangements, Mr Chan said, "the two new town extension areas are crucial to the housing supply in the future, particularly subsidised housing. The Government would provide a special ex-gratia compensation package to those affected to help them relocate so as to commence the development project as soon as possible. The Government will offer compensation in the form of a special cash allowance of maximum $600,000 to eligible households occupying licensed or surveyed domestic structures, subject to the approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council."
Mr Chan supplemented that the Government has reserved a site each in KTN and FLN for local rehousing of the affected residents who are eligible for public housing.
The Government will also introduce a special agricultural land rehabilitation scheme to assist affected genuine farmers to continue farming. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will approach the land owners who are willing to rent or sell their land in nearby areas and accord priority to the affected farmers in pairing up.
The Government has decided to adopt an enhanced Conventional New Town Approach and take the lead in developing the two new town extension areas, and resume private land for development according to the planned uses. Private land owners in new towns were allowed in the past to modify land leases for private developments. On this front, the Government will impose more stringent requirements in processing applications for modification of lease (including in-situ land exchange) subject to specified criteria. This is to ensure that such applications will comply with the planning and timetable for the NDAs development. The criteria include stipulating that only sites planned for private development are eligible for the lease modification applications. The applications must comply with specific guidelines and conditions to ensure comprehensive planning, and time limits will be stipulated for completion of such applications to ensure timely provision of housing and other facilities. The land owners must also offer fair treatment to tenants/occupants, including providing a monetary compensation comparable to the Government's arrangement.
The Government will brief the Legislative Council Panel on Development, District Councils and other relevant stakeholders and organisations on the revised proposals of the NDAs project from mid-July onwards.
The Stage 3 public engagement report and the latest information digest of the NDAs project are available on the study website (http://www.nentnda.gov.hk/) for public reference.
Ends/Thursday, July 4, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:01