LCQ18: Temporary government land allocations and short-term tenancies

Following is a question by the Hon Jeremy Tam and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (February 28):
Regarding the government sites granted by the Lands Department to policy bureaux or government departments by way of temporary government land allocations (TGLA sites) and the government sites let by the Department to parties outside the Government for temporary uses by way of short-term tenancies (STT sites), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective current numbers of (i) TGLA sites and (ii) STT sites in the territory and the (i) location and (ii) site area of each site (set out in a table), and (iii) mark the locations of these two types of sites separately on maps; among the STT sites, the number of those which have already been committed to long-term planning uses; if such information is not readily available, whether the Government will consider compiling such information;
(2) given that in its reply letter to a Member of this Council on  November 23 last year, the Government indicated that of the 2 945 hectares of TGLA sites being used as works sites/works areas, about two thirds by area of the sites were expected to become parts of infrastructure facilities, of the titles of the works projects to which such infrastructure facilities belong and, which of them are major infrastructure work projects; whether it has conducted studies on the future uses of the remaining one third by area (about 1 000 hectares) of such sites; if so, of the objectives and contents of such studies; if not, whether it will conduct such studies immediately; of the detailed uses (e.g. for storing tools or workers' belongings) of the works areas during the period when works are in progress;
(3) in respect of Annex 4 to the Government's reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on June 7 last year, of (i) the respective government departments to which TGLA sites were granted for use as "storage", as well as the types of articles being stored on such sites, (ii) the percentage of those TGLA sites for use as "open space" which are currently open for public use, and (iii) the details on the usage of each of the TGLA sites the uses of which were classified as "others" (set out in a table); and

(4) as the Government indicated in its reply as mentioned in (3) that it had no readily available information on those TGLA sites which were due to be returned in the coming three years, five years and 10 years, whether the Government has compiled such information since then; if so, of the details (set out in a table); if not, whether it will compile such information?
My reply to the four-part question is as follows:
(1) and (2) As at February 2018, the total number of short-term tenancies (STTs) granted by the Lands Department (LandsD) is 5 407. The locations and site areas of these sites are as follows:

Note: Including an STT granted to the Airport Authority Hong Kong for land formation and related works of the Three-Runway System (1 640 ha).

As at February 2018, the total number of temporary government land allocations (TGLAs) granted by LandsD is 3 745. The locations and site areas of these sites are as follows:

At present, STT sites are used to support various uses, including mainly works areas/works sites required for public rental housing/Home Ownership Scheme/railway development projects/the airport Three-Runway System, and public utilities/religious/community/other non-profit making uses, and open storage, container storage and temporary fee-paying carparks. The applicants are parties outside the Government. For works areas or works sites required for various types of public housing development projects, railway development and airport infrastructure projects, the total area measures approximately 1 750 ha, or 71 per cent of the total area of sites under STT. Regarding these STT sites granted for works areas/works sites, upon completion of the construction works, LandsD will grant a land lease for the long-term development use, and the relevant site(s) for the infrastructure will then be handed over to the responsible organisations for management and operation of the facilities concerned. In other words, these STTs are in fact issued as a transitional arrangement to enable works to commence for implementation of the long-term development uses of the sites. Most of these sites will eventually become part of the infrastructure concerned.
TGLA is the mechanism for temporary allocation of a parcel of government land to a government department/bureau for specific works or use (e.g. storage, open space, etc.). The area of TGLAs which are used as works areas/works sites is around 2 750 ha, accounting for about 85 per cent of the total area of TGLA sites. For these sites which are granted for use as works areas/works sites of government projects, they are allocated for implementation of the permanent use and the works sites concerned will normally become part of the future infrastructure upon expiry of the TGLA. The major infrastructure projects involved in these works areas/works sites include the Shatin to Central Link project, the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities and the Hong Kong Link Road projects of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the construction of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point and associated works, etc.
The Government's reply dated November 23, 2017 to the follow-up enquiries from a Member on the reply to Question 6 for the Legislative Council meeting on June 7, 2017 stated that, as a ballpark, about two-thirds of the TGLA sites used for works areas/works sites are expected to become part of the infrastructure. We should point out that this is a rough estimate. Upon completion of an individual project, whether or not the works area or works sites will be included as part of the infrastructure and the relevant area and coverage will be determined having regard to the final design and operation needs of the project.
As regards the long-term planned uses for STT sites and TGLA sites, the Government, under the multi-pronged strategy to increase land supply, has been conducting various land use reviews with a view to identifying more developable sites for housing and other uses in the short to medium term to optimise the use of land resources.
(3) The TGLA sites granted for use as "storage", as mentioned in Annex 4 to the Government's reply to Question 6 for the Legislative Council meeting on June 7, 2017, are mainly allocated to the Highways Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, Water Supplies Department and Drainage Services Department. The types of articles being stored differ according to the different operational needs of the various departments.
As to whether the TGLA sites for use as "open space" (such as parks, courts/pitches) are open for public use, while LandsD does not have readily available information on the specific percentage, these venues are generally open for public use.
(4) Having considered the substantial time and resources required for compiling the information regarding TGLA sites due to be returned in the coming three years, five years and 10 years, as well as the existing work priorities, we are unable to accord resource priority for compiling and providing the relevant information at this stage. In any event, if it is necessary to implement the long-term planned uses of the sites concerned or priority should be given to another temporary use in the light of changing circumstances, LandsD will terminate the concerned TGLA at an appropriate time to make way for implementation of the relevant long-term use or other temporary uses.
Due to resources and work priorities considerations, we are unable to provide a map indicating the location of over 9 000 STTs and TGLAs (Part (1) of the question refers), and the details of around 1 400 TGLA sites classified as "others" (Part (3) of the question refers).

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Issued at HKT 14:30