LCQ18: Potential housing sites
Following is a question by the Hon Vincent Fang and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (November 26):
In a paper submitted to a panel of this Council in January this year, the Government indicated that it had identified 152 potential housing sites, and expected that such sites would be made available for housing development in the coming five years (i.e. from 2014-2015 to 2018-2019) for the provision of about 215 000 residential units. Nevertheless, it is necessary for the authorities to make amendments to the respective statutory plans of these sites for change of land use and increase in development intensity before such sites can be used for housing development. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the location/address, site area and original use of each of the 152 sites (set out in Table 1 according to the order of the District Council districts);
(2) of a breakdown, by type of housing (i.e. public housing, Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) and private housing) and by District Council district, of the 215 000 residential units to be provided on the 152 sites (set out in Table 2);
(3) of the progress in making amendments to the respective statutory plans of the 152 sites; among such sites, of the number of sites which will be available for housing development in accordance with the schedule originally forecast, and the number of units that can be provided on these sites; and
(4) whether the Government has identified, apart from the 152 sites, new potential housing sites; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
As announced in the 2014 Policy Address, the Government has adopted 470 000 units as the new public and private housing total supply target for the coming 10 years, with public housing (comprising both public rental housing and subsidised sale flats) accounting for 60 per cent of the new production. To deliver this target is undeniably a huge challenge for both the Government and community.
To increase land supply to meet the housing and other development needs of Hong Kong, the Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to increase land supply in the short, medium and long term. Taking forward such long-term land supply projects as new development areas and reclamation, however, needs comparatively long time. Hence, in the short term, we need to identify sites in the developed area and its vicinity which have potential for changing to housing use or other Government, Institution or Community sites with no pressing needs for conversion to residential use, and to increase the development intensity of residential sites as far as allowable in planning terms, in order to optimise the use of the precious land resources and to address the call from the community.
Regarding the land use rezoning, as stated in the paper to the Panel on Development of this Council submitted by the Development Bureau in January 2014, some 150 potential housing sites were identified to have potential for housing development. The respective statutory plans would need to be amended so that the sites could be made available in the coming five years for providing over 210 000 flats, of which 70 per cent are for public housing. To rezone these sites for residential use and increase development intensity, we have to take into account a whole host of practical planning factors, including traffic and infrastructure capacity, provision of community facilities and open space, relevant technical constraints, local characteristics and existing development intensity, potential impacts on the local environment, and visual and air ventilation impacts, etc. Relevant departments are working on these in full gear with a view to making the land available for housing development as soon as possible.
My reply to the various parts of the questions is as follows:
(1) and (2) In January 2014, the Development Bureau provided a paper to the Panel on Development of this Council, of which include the distribution of the some 150 potential housing sites by district (see Annex). Most of these sites are still subject to further technical assessments for ascertaining their feasibilities and firming up the planning parameters (including the site area, plot ratio, number of flats, etc.). That said, in order to enable the District Councils to better understand the plan on the overall rezoning works in the district, the Development Bureau, together with the Planning Department and other relevant departments, have commenced the consultation with individual District Councils, providing them with an overview picture of potential housing sites requiring plan amendments. The information includes the indicative location, existing and planned zoning, proposed housing types (i.e. public or private), etc. The land use rezoning exercise covers 16 of the 18 districts in Hong Kong. As at mid-November, the Administration has presented the relevant information to 13 District Councils, and will submit the site information to the other District Councils at an appropriate time. After consulting all the relevant District Councils, we will summarise the overall situation and update the proposal and details of individual sites, as and when necessary, for proceeding with the relevant procedures.
(3) Since the announcement of 2014 Policy Address, out of the some 150 potential housing sites, statutory planning process have been initiated for 42 sites with an estimated flat yield of 37 800 units, of which 57 per cent are public housing units, as at mid-November.
(4) At this stage, the Government is working full steam ahead to proceed with the rezoning work on the some 150 sites above-mentioned. The Government will continue to closely monitor the land demand and supply and, if required, to identify and review other sites for housing development and other uses that meet the more pressing needs of our community. As always, the Government will consult the relevant stakeholders if and when suitable sites are identified.
Ends/Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:30