LDAC supports "Energizing Kowloon East" initiative

At the meeting today (October 27), the Land and Development Advisory Committee (LDAC) was briefed on the 2011-12 Policy Address and Policy Agenda initiatives concerning the Development Bureau.

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning and Lands), Mr Thomas Chow, briefed members on three major policy initiatives, including "Energizing Kowloon East", increasing land supply and the mid-term review on measures to facilitate revitalisation of industrial buildings. Members noted and appreciated that the land development related initiatives in the Policy Address were responding to Hong Kong's long-term development needs and community concern.

At the meeting, members were briefed on the "Energizing Kowloon East" initiative to develop the area into a new central business district. It covers enhancing the intra-district and external connectivity of the district, e.g. improving pedestrian linkage network and considering the construction of the proposed Environmentally Friendly Linkage System; adopting attractive streetscape, green urban design and continuous promenade; and promoting diversity so as to inject vibrancy into the business district.

Members appreciated the Government's long-term strategic development plan. Members agreed that a suitable branding for Kowloon East would contribute to effective transformation of the area. Regarding the proposed Environmentally Friendly Linkage System, some members pointed out that the success of the "Energizing Kowloon East" initiative would depend on the intra-district and external connectivity of the area and expressed support to the proposed system. 

Members generally agreed that the cruise terminal in Kai Tak and planned relocation of government offices to the area would bring catalytic effects and stimulate further development of the area. They also supported the establishment of a Kowloon East Development Office because it would facilitate and strengthen co-ordination of the development in Kowloon East.

In addition, members noted that the Government would adopt innovative measures to expand land resources, including releasing about 60 hectares of industrial land for non-industrial uses; exploring the option of reclamation on an appropriate scale outside Victoria Harbour; actively exploring the use of rock caverns to reprovision existing public facilities and releasing such sites for housing and other uses; looking into the use of green belt areas in the New Territories that are devegetated, deserted or formed to convert them into housing sites; examining "Government, Institution or Community" sites and exploring the possibility of converting into housing land some 150 hectares of agricultural land in North District and Yuen Long currently used mainly for industrial purpose or temporary storage.

Members generally supported the Government's effort to expand land resources. Some members pointed out that the review of "Government, Institution or Community" sites would improve the utilisation of sites without specific development plans, increase housing land supply and respond to community needs.

Ends/Thursday, October 27, 2011
Issued at HKT 20:45