A “one island, two towns” proposal that involves relocating the Fanling Golf Course and Kwai Tsing Container Terminals has been put forward.
The Professional Commons think tank has proposed building two artificial islands next to a structure built for the Zhuhai-Macau bridge and transferring the container terminals and a golf course there to free up land in Kwai Tsing and Fanling for public housing.
The group said this would be more environmentally friendly and cheaper than the East Lantau Metropolis plan the government is considering or the 1,000-hectare island expanded version of the plan mooted by the Our Hong Kong Foundation.
The Professional Commons said its proposal is to make two islands of 520 hectares near an artificial island that is about 7.5 kilometres west of Lantau.
But to do that, the think tank said, the government will have to persuade Beijing to expand Hong Kong’s maritime boundary or lease the island from Zhuhai, as it is in mainland waters.
Bauke Albada, from Albada architects, who worked with the Professional Commons on the proposal, said the East Lantau project is in open waters, meaning it would need transport infrastructure to be built, adding to the cost.
The think tank said its proposal could also avoid large-scale reclamation and limit damage to the environment. It also estimated that the reclamation required for its plan would only take four to five years. Reclamation proposals mooted by others have a much longer time span.
The group said it will submit its idea to Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the Task Force on Land Supply which is collecting public views on how to find more land to tackle the city’s housing woes. The consultation ends on September 26.