The Government announced today (June 3) the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint that maps out the future direction of "Development in the North, Conservation for the South" for Lantau.
Speaking at the press conference, the Secretary for Development, Mr Eric Ma, said that the Blueprint was formulated under the principle of a fine balance between development and conservation. North Lantau and the East Lantau Metropolis will focus on housing and economic developments, providing comfortable, liveable, smart, green and low-carbon communities, and promoting the overall economic development of Hong Kong. Northeast Lantau is poised to be a leisure, entertainment and tourism node, offering diversified recreation attractions.
"The Blueprint outlines various measures for enhancing the preservation of Lantau's ecological habitat, historic and cultural heritage, and rural character to facilitate enjoyment of its natural and cultural scenery by the people in Hong Kong. The role of the predominant part of Lantau, particularly in the south, for conservation and cultural and eco-tourism will be strengthened," Mr Ma said.
He pointed out that the Three-Runway System of the Hong Kong International Airport will strengthen Lantau's role as an international transport hub. Also, the development planning of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area will enhance Hong Kong's status as an international financial, transportation and trade centre. Upon completion of various infrastructure projects on Lantau and in its vicinity, Lantau will bear strategic significance by serving as the "double gateway" connecting Hong Kong to the world and the Greater Pearl River Delta, and benefiting the development of bridgehead economy.
"The Government formulated the Blueprint to tap these opportunities to provide land for housing, commercial, retail, hotel, recreation and tourism, high value-added logistics and storage purposes. It also aims to create development opportunities for a more balanced spatial development pattern for the territory," Mr Ma said.
The Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Hon Chi-keung, said that the Government will study how to improve Lantau's transport networks and capacity to receive visitors to promote and support various large-scale developments in North Lantau and help the public access the leisure and recreational spots as well as enjoy the facilities on Lantau.
He added that the Blueprint outlines concrete conservation measures, including designation of marine parks, conservation of the Pui O wetland and the Shui Hau sandflat, and promotion of Tai O culture and history. There are also leisure and recreational proposals in the Blueprint, such as construction of cycle tracks and mountain bike trails, improvement of hiking trails and provision of camping grounds for public enjoyment.
Early last year, the Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC) suggested various proposals on the vision, strategic positioning and planning principles for Lantau development. The Government subsequently conducted a public engagement exercise. The views of the public and the LanDAC were fully taken into account in the formulation of the Blueprint.
To take forward the co-ordination, planning and implementation of the various initiatives for Lantau, the Government is seeking the Legislative Council's funding approval to establish the Sustainable Lantau Office.
The Blueprint and details of related publicity activities are available at http://www.lantau.gov.hk/.
Ends/Saturday, June 3, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:47