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Transcript of SDEV's remarks

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending a radio programme today (January 20):

Reporter: Just now you were talking about increasing the density in the Kai Tak area, could you also explain a bit how it won't worsen the wall effects of the area with tall buildings?

Secretary for Development: When we increase the density, it is an overall increase except for the north of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon peninsula, which are developed urban areas. When it comes to individual sites, before we increase the density, we have to pay attention to planning factors, such as transportation and traffic impact, air quality, air impact as well as sewerage. Apart from that, we also pay regard to the circumstances of specific sites, in terms of the surrounding areas and the ridgeline. After taking into consideration all these factors, and when there is no unacceptable negative impact, then we will increase the density. If for a particular site, after undertaking all these planning examinations, we find that the density could not be increased to such an extent, then we won't force it. We would accept a relatively lower density for that particular site.

Reporter: How will it affect people's living condition and their lifestyle?

Secretary for Development: I can't say that there is no impact. Given that there will be more people living in a particular site, there would be inconveniences. But I hope that the community will understand that both private residential as well as public housing are in great demand and there is a long queue for public rental housing. We do need to provide more land to cater for those who wish to improve their living condition. So with this overriding consideration, I hope the community will give us support when it comes to rezoning of individual sites in the districts.

Reporter: So in the Kai Tak area, does it mean the air quality will worsen and there will be wall effects?

Secretary for Development: We don't think so because Kai Tak is a relatively new area. What we intend to do is to raise the height limit of the entire site, so the overall situation in Kai Tak should not be adversely affected. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, January 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:57