Following is a question by Dr the Hon Wendy Hong and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, in the Legislative Council today (October 26):
The operator of an industrial enterprise in Tuen Mun West (TMW) has relayed to me that he intends to expand his business on the existing site. However, as the land use planning for TMW is not yet finalised even after more than a decade's discussion, he has been unable to make such investment decision. Regarding land use planning, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the latest progress of the work related to Lung Kwu Tan reclamation and the re-planning of TMW Area, and the expected time when the land use planning for TMW will be finalised;
(2) whether it will, in conducting the land use planning for TMW, take into consideration the development needs of the existing enterprises in the area, as well as rationalise and consolidate (from the perspective of upstream and downstream relationships in the supply chain) the upstream and downstream enterprises scattered in various brownfield sites in the New Territories, and group them together in TMW, so as to help reduce logistic and transportation costs for enterprises and enhance their operational efficiency; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) as there are comments that the situation of making no decision after discussions is common in Hong Kong's land use planning, and this has added uncertainty to land use and greatly hindered enterprises' long-term investment decisions and development, whether the Government will, from the perspective of the development needs of Hong Kong at different stages, formulate clear land use plans for the long, medium and short term, so that enterprises can make corresponding long, medium and short-term investment decisions with concrete timetables and clear expectations in mind; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The Government is committed to providing, through a multi-pronged land development strategy, a steady land supply to support economic development in future and address various demands of society and the community for land. The proposed Lung Kwu Tan reclamation (about 220 hectares) and re-planning of existing land at Tuen Mun West (about 220 ha), which involve about 440 ha of land, is one of the major sources of land supply at New Territories West in future. It would also benefit from the new development opportunities brought about by the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy (NMDS) and Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands.
My reply to the three parts of Dr the Hon Wendy Hong's question is as follows:
(1) The Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Development discussed in January 2020 the proposal for conducting a planning and engineering study for Lung Kwu Tan and Tuen Mun West coastal area. At that time, there were public views that the strategic rail links and road network at Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands should provide the needed conditions for a larger variety of developments at Lung Kwu Tan and Tuen Mun West area and preventing an over-emphasis on industrial use. Moreover, the NMDS will bring about new opportunities for the future development of Lung Kwu Tan and Tuen Mun West, including high-added-value economic activities. Therefore, we consider it opportune to tap the dual engines of Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands and the Northern Metropolis, and examine different land use mixes and planning options at Lung Kwu Tan and Tuen Mun West for more comprehensive and flexible planning.
We will seek LegCo's funding approval to kick start the related planning and engineering study, including the review of various development options, as soon as possible. Our target is to complete the study in 30 months, with a view to commencing the reclamation works in 2027 the earliest.
(2) Existing facilities at Tuen Mun West, including those with economic activities, are either on private lands or government lands, involving different stakeholders such as land owners, government departments and operators.
We will closely communicate with various stakeholders during the planning and engineering study so as to understand their operations and preferences. The study will review the need and feasibility of retaining or relocating existing facilities, including technical feasibility and development cost etc. We will also examine whether the area, with a new planning layout, could accommodate some existing industrial facilities and brownfields operations affected by the government projects. During the course of the study, we will also formulate and assess various land use mixes and planning options to increase the flexibility for future development.
(3) Last year, the Government promulgated the finalised "Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030", which sets out the territorial spatial development strategy for Hong Kong. It formulates a "conceptual spatial framework", which shows the Government's macro view on Hong Kong's long term spatial development. It defines growth areas, possible solution spaces and conceptual transport network to prepare for development in the years to come. Under the above spatial development strategy, the Government launched in recent years multiple large-scale development projects, such as new development areas in the Northern Metropolis and Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands. These projects are in different planning and development stages, and have land use proposals or directions that have been recommended or are being reviewed. Moreover, we recently announced a 10-year supply forecast of developable land for public inspection and monitoring of progress. We would be pleased to maintain communication with different sectors of the community on various development plans.
Ends/Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:45