A proposed East Lantau Metropolis, which is currently being studied, has the potential to become a strategic growth area with a core business district, by capitalising on its proximity to Hong Kong Island.
Secretary for Development Paul Chan told lawmakers recently that the East Lantau Metropolis could accommodate up to 700,000 people, bringing the total Lantau population to almost a million in the long term.
The estimation was made on the assumption that all the proposed development projects would be implemented, making it a possible long term land supply source.
He said a transport network catering to the metropolis has been proposed for future study, adding these studies will not affect the planning direction of south Lantau for conservation, leisure, culture and environmental tourism.
On a proposal to fill Shek Pik Reservoir for development, Mr Chan said it is not appropriate as the reservoir is a major local freshwater supply source. It is also in a remote location with little infrastructure and transport facilities.
Further study will be done on consolidating and relocating the correctional facilities on Lantau and Hei Ling Chau to release land for tourist, recreational, residential and other uses.