At its sixth meeting held today (September 26), the Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC) endorsed the overall spatial planning and conservation concepts and the proposed recreation, tourism and social development strategies for Lantau. It was also briefed on the preliminary concept of the topside development at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the work of the four subcommittees under the LanDAC, and the progress of the various major strategic studies, short-term topical studies and local improvement works.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Secretary for Development and Chairman of the Committee, Mr Paul Chan, said that the overall spatial planning and conservation concepts cover four major regions:
1) The Northern Lantau Corridor focusing on economic and housing developments to create synergy and economies of scale;
2) The North-eastern Lantau Node for leisure, entertainment and tourism through reclamation at Sunny Bay and extension of Hong Kong Disneyland to create a tourism gateway at north-eastern Lantau;
3) The East Lantau Metropolis (ELM) as a strategic growth area with a core business district by capitalising on the geographical advantages of the central waters being close to Hong Kong Island; and
4) The predominant part of Lantau for conservation, leisure, cultural and green tourism.
Mr Chan said, “We are considering consolidation and relocation of the correctional facilities on Lantau. At the same time, in view of the mountainous terrain of Lantau, we will explore the development of caverns and underground spaces to relocate incompatible government facilities or for other suitable uses.
Regarding the recreation and tourism development strategy, the vision is “To shape Lantau as a kaleidoscopic recreation and tourism destination”. The preliminary concept of the planning framework comprises six themes, 11 major recreation and tourism areas and three additional places of interest. The six themes are Adventure, Excitement, Ecology, Splurge and Indulge, Relaxation and Wellness, and Culture and Heritage, providing diversified recreation and tourism attractions.
Mr Chan said, “We propose attractive transport arrangements to connect different recreation and tourism areas, including water-based connections (such as water taxis), above-ground modes (such as cable car and funicular railway) and land-based links (such as cycle tracks and a round-the-island shuttle). Also, with the prerequisite of enhancing conservation, we suggest to increase the attractiveness of country parks for green tourism, recreation and educational purposes through measures such as improving and augmenting country trails, family walks, tree walks, park facilities, signage and more to enhance the educational value of the country parks on Lantau.
“The above-mentioned proposals are preliminary concepts only, the feasibility of which is still subject to technical studies and financial viability assessment. We shall consolidate relevant development proposals and formulate development targets for the short, medium and long term as well as the time frame.”
As for the social development strategy, according to the existing situation of social services and community facilities, members generally considered that various aspects of social development on Lantau are in good condition while increased and diversified employment opportunities are expected in the future.
Mr Chan said, “To make Lantau a high-quality place to live, to work and to enjoy, the proposed social development strategy aims at attracting talents, providing suitable transport connections within and outside Lantau and meeting the needs of the rural local community of Lantau.”
The Committee agreed to prepare a report summarising the work and major issues discussed by this term of the LanDAC and consolidating a set of the proposed overall development strategies for Lantau. Members expect to complete the report by the end of this year for issuance in early 2016, which will fit in with the public engagement and promotion activities with a view to enhancing the public's understanding of the proposed overall development strategies for Lantau and gathering their views.
Ends/Saturday, September 26, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:03