HK Gov’t eyes more Land Reclamation for housing

HK Gov’t eyes more Land Reclamation for housing

The Task Force on Land Supply has acknowledged reclamation is one of the most suitable and practical ways to build up a land reserve.

The task force discussed at its third meeting today the creation of new land resources by reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and making use of rock caverns and underground space, and the optimal use and management of vacant government sites.

Its Chairman Stanley Wong said about 6% of Hong Kong’s total land area is formed by reclamation, but there has not been any large-scale reclamation project since the 2000s.

He said the task force agreed reclamation can create a large piece of new land for comprehensive planning of a new community to better cater for people’s daily needs while providing space for relocating special industries or “Not-in-My-Backyard” facilities away from urban areas, thereby freeing up land for other uses.

While acknowledging reclamation as one of the most suitable and practical ways to build up a land reserve, task force members considered the potential environmental impact arising from reclamation should be properly addressed, Mr Wong added.

Regarding the use of rock caverns and underground space, task force Vice-Chairman Greg Wong said the two options can provide space for suitable public facilities or infrastructure and optimal use of these less visible land resources can offer new opportunities for Hong Kong’s planning and development.

Noting the timely and costly development of rock caverns and underground space, he said it is generally not suitable for residential use and may not be suitable for high-density development as a land supply source.

However, he said rock caverns and underground space can help in the relocation of certain at-grade facilities, which will indirectly increase the amount of surface land for development in the long run.

On vacant government sites, he said the Government’s land use reviews in recent years have studied sites under short-term tenancy (STT) and temporary government land allocation (TGLA).

“Rezoning proposals have been made for those with housing development potential. Most of the remaining STT and TGLA sites may not be suitable for high-density development as one of the major land supply options given their nature.

“The Government will put those sites currently without any long-term use or development programme to different short-term uses, and is planning to make more relevant information publicly available, including more transparent publication of information on the some 900 vacant government sites available for greening and community uses, so as to facilitate non-governmental organisations’ application for the use of such sites.”

 

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