Town planners grant further two years of interim golf course use
Golfing fans will be able to tee off for a little while longer as the airport chiefs mull over plans for imminent redevelopment of the golf course that could start in 2015 at the earliest.
The Rural and New Town Planning Committee of the Town Planning Board gave the nod last Friday for renewal of planning approval for the Airport Authority Hong Kong’s golf course for another two years.
The authority said in a statement last Friday that after the expiry of the golf operator’s 10-year lease next month, it will renew the lease on a three-month basis.
This arrangement would last until long-term land use plans have been finalised whereupon the authority will resume the land immediately.
“This arrangement avoids the land being left idle while we are finalizing plans for North Commercial District’s long-term development, and allows the facility to continue providing services and a green environment,” authority executive director for commercial Cissy Chan Ching-sze said.
In the authority’s planning statement, it said the latest application was in keeping with the original intention of having a 12-year period of golfing use.
Construction Post reported last April the authority was planning a shopping complex at the golf course, according to details given by government sources to local Chinese newspaper The Sun.
The golf facility, the Nine Eagles Golf Course, was completed in late 2006 after planning permission was granted in August 2003 for interim golfing use at a 11.7 hectare site immediately south of Asia World Expo and west of Skyplaza.
Chan said planning work would be completed in late 2013.
“In mapping out the development strategies, we will seriously and thoroughly consider all feasible uses including building offices, hotels, retail outlets and others,” Chan added.
In a letter to Planning Department giving its response to comments made by the public during the statutory period of public consultation, the authority said design planning would be carried out in 2014 for development work to start “not later mid-2015”.
According to Land Registry records, a sublease was signed in December 2004 between the Airport Authority and Airport Management Services for golf course use.
Rent was set initially at HK$200,000 per quarter for the first four years from the date of completion of the golf course and rising to HK$250,000 per quarter till lease expiry on 12 August 2013.
The golf operator also has to pay a turnover rent according to the lease.