$1.1b Tai Po flats project given go ahead

$1.1b Tai Po flats project given go ahead

A HK$1.14 billion public housing project that will provide 7,000 flats in five years in Tai Po became the first scheme to be approved by the Legislative Council’s public works subcommittee this legislative year that had been delayed by filibustering.

That came after the subcommittee voted down a dozen motions, as pro- democracy lawmakers worried that the project would cause traffic congestion and overcrowding in the area.

About 7,000 flats in the largely undeveloped Tai Po area 9 and Chung Nga Road East will be built by 2022 under the plan, with construction to start this year.

Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu of the Civic Party said overcrowding in Tai Po may cause traffic congestion, while People Power’s Raymond Chan Chi-chuen questioned the ecological impact as more than 1,000 trees will need to be removed.

Architectural-sector lawmaker Edward Yiu Chung-yim warned about air pollution on the Tai Po site, including PM2.5 particles and sulfur dioxide, exceeding international standards, but government officials said air quality of the site was assessed and passed by the Environmental Protection Department in 2009 and 2013.

The project was approved with 23 votes, two votes were against it and 10 abstained. It will be tabled for discussion at the Finance Committee.

Other projects, including a HK$12.4 billion block allocation under the Capital Works Reserve Fund, were not put to the vote in yesterday’s meeting.

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