Government response to media enquiries on Wang Chau development plan

In response to media enquiries on the Wang Chau development plan, a Government spokesman today (September 17) gave the following:
An inter-departmental task force was once formed to discuss issues relating to public housing development at Queen's Hill and Wang Chau. The task force, chaired by the Chief Executive, met only once on June 27, 2013.
Thereafter, the actual implementation work for the development of Queen's Hill and Wang Chau was carried out by the respective departments in accordance with the usual procedures. Regarding Wang Chau, we have confirmed earlier that informal consultations were undertaken by colleagues of the Housing Department and others in accordance with the usual practice. The Secretary for Transport and Housing (STH) said on September 15 that there might not necessarily be minutes for such informal consultations.
During the informal consultations, we gathered that the local communities had a number of concerns about the development of 17 000 public housing flats at Wang Chau, including concerns about the need for infrastructural support, impact on environment and brownfield issues. We have to consider in detail whether there are solutions, acceptable to the public, which can address such concerns. But this does not mean that we will give up these plans simply because of such opposition.
Just like what STH has said on both September 14 and 15, the development of the second and third phases of Wang Chau required arrangements for necessary infrastructural works such as transport, water supplies, drainage and so on, formulating adequate mitigation measures to allay the possible impact on the environment and whether there are ways of dealing with the issues of brownfield operations in a more satisfactory manner. These are all factors which usually need to be considered and dealt with in the planning and development of major projects and that the process usually takes a long time. As for the brownfield operations in Wang Chau, both internal discussions of the Government and past public documents indicate that time was needed to draw up more satisfactory solutions. In order not to delay the development of public housing, the Government decided then to start first with phase one of the development at Wang Chau. As a result, we were able to submit phase one of the Wang Chau development to the District Council for discussion in 2014 and complete the rezoning procedures in the middle of the following year.

Ends/Saturday, September 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 22:38