Following is a question by the Hon Holden Chow and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (September 1):
The Government is currently implementing two large-scale housing development projects (development projects) in Yuen Long District: Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen New Development Area which will provide approximately 61 000 housing units for accommodating around 176 000 persons, and the public housing development project at Long Bin which will provide approximately 11 000 units for accommodating around 32 000 persons. Such development projects will substantially increase the demand for transport services in the districts and involve complex issues of resumption of private lands. As such, some members of the local community have suggested that the Home Affairs Department set up, under its district administration structure, a new area committee that covers the areas in which such development projects are located, so as to facilitate representatives of the local residents to relay directly to the Government the views of the residents on such development projects and other district affairs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the local organizations, apart from the Yuen Long District Council and Heung Yee Kuk, that the Government has consulted on such development projects, and set out the consultation outcome by development project and type of local organizations;
(2) whether it will consider taking on board the aforesaid suggestion of setting up a new area committee in Yuen Long District; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) as the completion date of the Hung Shui Kiu Station of the Tuen Ma Line will be deferred from 2024 as originally scheduled to 2030, but the first population intake of such development projects will take place in 2024 at the earliest, of the traffic arrangements to be provided by the Government to the residents concerned during the transitional period?
Communications with members of the local community and other stakeholders by relevant government departments are conducted through appropriate channels in the planning, design and implementation process of development projects to understand and address their concerns over the projects. The Government will publish gazette notices as required by relevant ordinances and conduct consultations based on statutory procedures and other arrangements on the development projects. The views so collected will be carefully considered in formulating the development proposals. Generally speaking, while the District Council (DC) and the Rural Committee (RC) are the Government's consultation targets, relevant government departments will also communicate directly with different stakeholders in the community (including affected individuals and residents' organisations) in order to listen to their views.
After consulting the relevant bureaux and departments, my reply to the various parts of the question is as follows:
(1) (i) Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen New Development Area (HSK/HT NDA)
Between 2011 and 2015, three rounds of community engagement were conducted for the Hung Shui Kiu (HSK) New Development Area (NDA) Planning and Engineering Study. In addition to the two DCs in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun as well as three RCs in Ha Tsuen, Ping Shan and Tuen Mun, the targets of consultation also included statutory/advisory organisations, professional bodies, local concern groups and other relevant stakeholders such as villagers/ residents' organisations, green groups and business operators. During the process, government departments also received written comments from Tuen Mun North East and Tin Shui Wai South Area Committees. A summary of the public views so collected and the responses of the Government have been uploaded to the webpage of the relevant planning and engineering study (www.hsknda.gov.hk).
In May 2017, the draft Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) was submitted to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for consideration and gazettal. During the period between May and July the same year, the Tuen Mun DC and the working group under the Yuen Long DC as well as the above three RCs were consulted respectively on the draft plan. During the exhibition period of the draft OZP, a total of more than 440 representations/comments were received from individuals and organisations/bodies. Members may refer to the relevant TPB paper for the comments collected and responses (see Note 1).
During the period from May to July 2019, the committee/working group under the above two DCs and the above three RCs were consulted prior to the submission of the funding application for works under First Phase development to the Legislative Council (LegCo). Members may refer to the relevant paper of the LegCo Panel on Development for the comments collected and responses (see Note 2).
(ii) Public Housing Development at Long Bin
The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) is implementing a public housing development project at Long Bin in Yuen Long. In 2017, amendments to the statutory plan of the development project were submitted to the TPB for consideration and gazettal, and Yuen Long DC and Ping Shan RC were consulted before and after the submission/gazettal. During the exhibition period of the draft OZP, a total of more than 120 representations were received from individuals/organisations. Members may refer to the relevant TPB paper for the comments collected and responses (see Note 3).
Subsequently, in March this year, a committee of the Yuen Long DC was consulted on the proposed site formation and infrastructure works. Members may refer to the relevant paper of the LegCo Panel on Housing for the comments collected and responses (see Note 4).
Overall speaking, members of the local community mainly expressed views or concerns about the traffic impact and arrangements, provision of social welfare facilities, compensation and rehousing issues of the above two development projects. Members of the local community also expressed their views on the HSK/HT NDA in respect of the impacts on existing brownfield operations and how to facilitate their relocation.
(2) The Home Affairs Department (HAD) reviewed, inter alia, the delineation and the number of the Area Committees in early 2020. According to the findings of the review, Yuen Long district will maintain its existing three Area Committees. The HAD indicates that it will from time to time review the distribution and coverage of the Area Committees, and take into account views from different stakeholders during the process.
(3) The Transport and Housing Bureau has invited the MTR Corporation Limited to proceed with the detailed planning and design of the HSK Station. It is expected that construction of the HSK Station may commence in 2024 for completion in 2030 to tie in with the development plan of the HSK/HT NDA.
The indicative implementation windows recommended in the Railway Development Strategy 2014 may be adjusted having regard to any change in circumstances. According to the current planning for the HSK/HT NDA, the major population intake of the NDA is expected to commence from 2030 onwards, which will be in line with the target commissioning of the HSK Station. Before the commissioning of the HSK Station, a small population (about 4 400 residents, who are mainly the existing residents affected by the works) will gradually move into the newly completed dedicated rehousing estates within the district from 2024 onwards. In other words, majority of these residents are decanted from the same district but not new intake. The relevant departments will coordinate with public transport operators to provide adequate public transport services having regard to the transport needs of the decanted residents.
Note 1: Town Planning Board Paper No. 10378 (www.info.gov.hk/tpb/en/whats_new/S_HSK_1/S_HSK_1(Hearing)_MainPaper.pdf )
Note 2: Legislative Council Paper No. CB(1)230/19-20(03) (www.legco.gov.hk/yr19-20/english/panels/dev/papers/dev20191216cb1-230-3-e.pdf )
Note 3: Town Planning Board Paper No. 10426 (www.info.gov.hk/tpb/en/whats_new/S_YL_TYST_11/R_S_YL-TYST_11_MainPaper_EN.pdf )
Note 4: Legislative Council Paper No. CB(1)715/20-21(04) (www.legco.gov.hk/yr20-21/english/panels/hg/papers/hg20210329cb1-715-4-e.pdf )
Ends/Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:40