Development intensity at Tung Chung East may increase to compensate
The government is drawing up a plan B should proposed reclamation in the western part of Tung Chung be scrapped if the area is found to be of high ecological value, according to a local newspaper.
Chinese language Sing Tao Daily reported Monday that the government would propose increasing the development density at Tung Chung East if the Tung Chung West plan falls through.
A preliminary assessment of comments received during Stage 2 Public Engagement for the extension to Tung Chung New Town revealed there were still reservations on reclamation at Tung Chung West where the government plans to reclaim 14 hectares of land at the eastern part of Tung Chung Bay.
This was because the reclamation area was near conservation areas.
The reclamation, should it go through, would provide land for 15,000 residential units for a population of 43,000.
In the public engagement digest published last May, the reclamation extent had already been reduced to 14 hectares to address the ecological value of the natural environment nearby.
The government has yet to make a final decision whether to go ahead with reclamation.
Sing Tao quoted a government source as saying a study would be made on the ecology at Tung Chung Bay.
Things were different at Tung Chung East however.
According to Sing Tao, as environmental aspects were less of an issue there, the plan to reclaim 120 hectares of land would have a greater chance of success.
The government’s digest proposes two options at Tung Chung East, the “Livable Town” option for a population of 110,000 housed in 38,000 flats and the “Economic Vibrancy” option for a population of 95,000 in 33,000 flats.
At present the population of Tung Chung is about 90,000.
If reclamation at Tung Chung West was rejected, the source hoped the public would agree to increase the development density at Tung Chung East to make up the shortfall in population.
Increasing the population of Tung Chung by a small amount to just over 100,000 would be a pointless exercise, the source said.
“You either don’t do it at all or if you do do it, the population should be increased to over 200,000,” the source was quoted as saying to Sing Tao.
This was because once the population reached a critical mass, it would be make future planning for items such as employment and transport facilities easier.
The decision to go or not go ahead with reclamation would have an indirect impact on follow up facilities.
Should Tung Chung West be shelved, there would not be enough population to justify the MTR Corporation (0066) building a station to serve Tung Chung West, leaving only one additional station at Tung Chung East, according to Sing Tao.
Nearby the government is currently carrying out reclamation for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge project for the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities and the Hong Kong Link Road.
Future reclamation work in the pipeline near Tung Chung would come from the proposed Third Runway project for the Airport Authority Hong Kong, involving reclamation of 650 hectares of land from the sea.