Following is a question by Dr. Hon Kenneth Chan ka-lok and a reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (June 10):
The Government plans to amend the approved Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau Outline Zoning Plan to rezone a piece of harbourfront government land at Ap Lei Chau, at which the Hong Kong School of Motoring (the School site) is presently sited, to residential use for taking forward a residential development project to provide around 1 500 units. Some Ap Lei Chau residents have relayed to me their grave concerns about the land planning in the district. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) when the authorities will commence the statutory procedures for amending the planned use of the School site, as well as the concrete work plan and timetable; whether the authorities will consult Ap Lei Chau residents on the amendment; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; whether the authorities will consider rezoning the harbourfront lots in the area of the School site for use as district sitting-out or water sports facilities; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) whether the impact of the new use of the School site on the traffic flow of the Ap Lei Chau Bridge, the trunk roads in Aberdeen and Wong Chuk Hang as well as the Aberdeen Tunnel was taken into account in the traffic assessment conducted by the authorities in respect of the amendment to the planned use of the School site; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) as quite a number of residents have indicated that they are worried about the hazards posed by the liquefied petroleum gas and oil products transit depot at Ap Lei Chau to the residents of South Horizons nearby, whether the authorities will consider amending the planned use of the site of the oil depot in the course of amending the planned use of the School site, in order to address the safety concerns of the residents; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Housing is one of the community's major livelihood concerns. To achieve the housing supply target of 480 000 residential units in the coming 10 years under the Government's Long Term Housing Strategy, the Government has to continue to increase housing land supply by adopting a multi-pronged approach. Land use reviews, including review of government land currently vacant, under short term tenancy or different short-term/government uses, as well as "Government, Institution or Community" sites, etc, are conducted to identify sites suitable for conversion to residential use. Such reviews are one of the key measures to increase housing land supply in the short and medium term.
Having reviewed various land uses on the Aberdeen & Ap Lei Chau Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) No. S/H15/29, the Planning Department (PlanD) proposes to rezone a site on Lee Nam Road, Ap Lei Chau (the Site), which is currently government land, mainly let to the Hong Kong School of Motoring under a short term tenancy, from "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Cargo Handling Area", "Industrial" and "Government, Institution or Community" to "Residential (Group A)". It is estimated that the Site has a capacity to provide about 1 500 residential flats.
My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:
(1) On May 18, 2015, PlanD consulted the District Development and Environment Committee of the Southern District Council (SDC) on the rezoning proposal for the Site. In addition, on May 20, 2015, PlanD and the Transport Department (TD) attended a local residents' forum to explain the proposed rezoning and solicit residents' views.
We plan to submit, in accordance with the Town Planning Ordinance, the rezoning proposal in the second half of 2015 to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for consideration. The submission to TPB will contain the comments received from SDC, local residents and concerned government departments. If TPB agrees to the proposed amendments, the amended OZP will be exhibited for public inspection for two months. During the exhibition period, all persons may submit written representations to TPB. Persons who have submitted representations or comments on the representations will be invited to attend TPB's meeting and heard by TPB. After TPB's meeting, TPB will decide whether the amended OZP should be revised or submitted to the Chief Executive in Council for approval.
According to the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, there are sufficient existing and planned government, institution or community and open space provisions in Southern District to cater for the needs of the district (including the proposed development). Besides, water sports facilities are provided at various places in Southern District, such as Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay, Middle Bay, South Bay, Stanley and St. Stephen's Beach. The Government has no plan to rezone the Site for local open space or water sports facilities.
(2) In respect of the proposed rezoning of the Site for residential use, TD has carried out a traffic review to assess the impact of the traffic generated from the proposed residential development on major roads in Ap Lei Chau (including Ap Lei Chau Bridge). The review outcome shows that the proposed residential development will not bring about unacceptable traffic impact on major roads and junctions in Ap Lei Chau. Given the scale of the proposed residential development, the traffic impact on roads outside Ap Lei Chau (including the major roads in Aberdeen and Wong Chuk Hang, as well as Aberdeen Tunnel) will also be minimal. It is estimated that the traffic in Ap Lei Chau will be improved after the South Island Line (East) comes into operation.
(3) The existing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) depot and oil products transit depot at the western side of Ap Lei Chau are zoned "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Oil Products Transit Depot". The LPG depot is a private lot and currently supplies LPG to the residents of South Horizons. The oil products transit depot provides oil product transit services for Hong Kong Island. The LPG depot and oil products transit depot comply with the relevant safety standards, and there is an operational need to retain them thereat.
According to the prima facie assessment of gas risks carried out by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the LPG depot and oil products transit depot would not cause insurmountable problems to the proposed rezoning of the Site for residential development. Furthermore, in order to ensure public safety, a quantitative risk assessment will be conducted for the proposed development in accordance with the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.
Ends/Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:06