Frequently Asked Questions
C1. The HK2030 Study pointed out that reclamation is not a must, so why does Government still put forth this proposal?
The HK2030 Study has not ruled out reclamation outside Victoria Harbour altogether, but stated that this could be considered given sufficient justifications. Completed in 2007 under the assumption that the population will reach 8.4 million in year 2030, the HK2030 Study recommends better utilization of the built-up area, and development of an appropriate scale in the New Territories. It is of utmost importance that we can fully utilize the developed areas and new towns, and implement in a smooth and timely manner the planned, large-scale development projects, including Kai Tak Development, the Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O (TKO) New Towns, the North East New Territories and Hung Shui Kiu New Development Areas (NDAs). In recent years, however, Hong Kong’s land supply options, such as redevelopment, resumption and rezoning, etc, have been met with different challenges. There are rising public aspirations for a better living environment and conservation, for example the demand for lower building heights and development density. All these factors contributed to the uncertainties in scales and implementation time frame of the planned developments.
According to the latest growth projection, the population of Hong Kong will reach 8.9 million in 2039 and the number of households will increase to 3.1million. On the other hand, the planning for the four major development areas (Tung Chung New Town, TKO New Town, the North East New Territories NDA and Hung Shui Kiu NDA) originally designated to accommodate a population of 800,000 has now been adjusted. Excluding Hung Shui Kiu NDA, the other three development areas will provide homes to only 450,000 people against the originally planned 640,000 people, representing a decrease of 30%. The actual supply in the end is still dependent on the results of the Hung Shui Kiu NDA Planning and Engineering Study which is at the stage of initial public engagement. The original plan was to accommodate only 160,000 people in Hung Shui Kiu. Hence, even if its capacity increases substantially, it can hardly offset the reduced capacity of the other scaled-down developments. Under such circumstances, the Government considers it necessary to revisit the option of reclamation outside Victoria Harbour in order to cater for population growth, economic development, and people’s aspirations for a better living environment.
C2. Government should make use of other land supply options first, should reclamation be considered as a last resort?
In Government’s projections of land supply, committed or planned development projects, and new development areas have been included. The programme and extent of these developments may be affected by land resumption, compensation and rezoning, etc. Therefore, a flexible land supply options portfolio, including reclamation, has to be established in order to meet the future needs. It is necessary to implement all six land supply options. Reclamation outside Victoria Harbour is an indispensable option and should not be the last resort. This is because, without reclamation, we are unable to produce land in meeting our long-term needs. Through reclamation, we could build up land reserve to meet unexpected demand, solve the public surplus fill problem and provide decant sites for resettlement of residents and facilities affected by other land supply options. Besides, all land development options require very long lead time from initial planning to coming to fruition. For this reason, if the Government only commences the planning and design of reclamation until the other land supply options fail to meet our demand, the needs of the community and the public will not be met in a timely manner.
C3. Reclamation has a profound impact on the environment. Will the option of developing rural land be considered instead?
We share the concerns our community has on the possible environmental impact of reclamation, thus enhancing environmental performance is one of the guiding principles for site selection. The environmental impacts of reclamation are mainly on ecological side, including the loss of seabed and intertidal habitat of high ecological value, benthic habitat, adverse impacts on corals, fishery, marine mammals (such as Chinese White Dolphins and Finless Porpoises, etc.), and adjacent terrestrial habitats/animals.
However, developing our rural area will also have impact on ecological and social aspects. Ecological impacts may include habitat loss and adverse impacts on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies/dragonflies, stream fish and invertebrates. Social impacts may include destruction to long-established social network, disappearing of culture and tradition, impact on resident’s livelihood, deprivation of the living quality of the village communities, and depriving the residents of the choice of their living style (such as farming).
Both the above-mentioned options will create environmental impacts. Before detailed studies, it is imprudent to conclude which land supply option (i.e. reclamation or land development) will create less environmental impact. At present, we consider the establishment of site selection criteria for reclamation the most important. The Government has not yet decided whether to reclaim land outside Victoria Harbour, and this is the very topic of the current public consultation.
C4. Reclamation will only cause environmental impact, how come there will be environmental benefit?
Reclamation can assist in handling large quantity of construction and demolition materials (public fill) and contaminated sediment generated from redevelopment, infrastructure development, maintenance dredging of fairways and other construction activities. Currently a large portion of Hong Kong surplus public fill is transported to Taishan for reclamation. As of August 2011, Taishan has completed approximately 328 hectares of reclaimed land, the equivalent of 17 Victoria Parks. The cost and carbon emissions of this arrangement are very high, the sustainability of which is questionable. In future reclamation design, wherever possible, we will also make an attempt to restore the altered or destroyed shorelines, such as creating an ecological shoreline, to compensate for the impact on the environment
C5. Since Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry is on the wane, shall we develop industrial land as a means to supply more land?
According to the current broad land usage distribution, the ‘industrial’ class comprises warehouse and storage which is closely related to the logistics industry, industrial estates with an occupancy rate close to 100%, and industrial buildings as well as special industries and rural industries. Special industries such as oil depots, shipyards, power plants and concrete plants are strategic facilities of important economic value and are indispensable. Warehouses and rural industries in the rural New Territories can help drive the economy and provide employment opportunities in local communities, hence, justify their existence. Besides, some of them are not suitable for relocating to multi-storey industrial buildings due to their mode of operation. Relocating and re-planning these open storage and rural industrial land also require searching of resettlement sites for the current users and facilities.
As for the industrial buildings in urban areas and new towns, over 250 ha. of land zoned ‘Industrial’ have been rezoned for business and other uses through the three comprehensive ‘Area Assessments of Industrial Land in the Territory’ conducted by the Planning Department since year 2000. The latest review completed in 2010 further recommended the rezoning of approximately 60 ha. of industrial land for non-industrial uses, with half of it for residential development. The area of land zoned ‘Industrial’ in Hong Kong will be reduced to about 240 ha. when the latest round of rezoning proposals are implemented. When proposing the rezoning of industrial land for other uses, building age, vacancy rate, number of owners, whether or not non-industrial uses have been approved, the surrounding land uses, as well as the overall demand for industrial buildings in future, etc. were major considerations. There is little scope for further rezoning of ‘industrial’ land for other uses at this stage after the three rounds of comprehensive assessments of industrial land since year 2000.
C6. Is it feasible to develop farm land that has been left derelict to increase land supply?
There are about 6,800 ha. of agricultural land in Hong Kong, 4,200 ha of which are situated in protected or constrained areas; for instance, country parks, conservation areas, Wetland Conservation Areas, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, fish ponds/gei wais etc.. These areas are not suitable for large-scale development. Of the remaining 2,600 ha. of agricultural land, 60% have already been incorporated into the scope of other studies (e.g. the current studies on the North East New Territories NDA and Hung Shui Kiu NDA), reserved for development, or are considered unsuitable for large-scale development (e.g. located on outlying islands, and small pockets of land). The remaining 40% of agricultural land, with about 80% being zoned “Agriculture”, are of certain ecological and economic value and constitute an important element of the rural characteristics. Furthermore, developing these agricultural areas, which are scattered in different parts of the New Territories, is difficult due to a lack of transport and other supporting infrastructure and fragmented ownership. All the above factors undermine the potential of developing agricultural land for other uses. Hong Kong cannot merely rely on developing farm land to provide adequate land supply for development.
C7. Has Government considered the impact of reclamation on fisheries?
In considering possible reclamation sites, the impact on local fisheries will be assessed in the reclamation site selection criteria under ‘impact on the local community’. Together with other site selection criteria, Government will shortlist some reclamation sites which will have less overall impact.
C8. Does Hong Kong really need more land?
According to the projection of the Census and Statistics Department, our population will grow by 25%, reaching 8.9 million by 2039, and the number of households will increase almost by 30% to 3.1 million during the same period. Sufficient land is needed to meet the demand for housing and community facilities. In economic development, we want to maintain the competitive advantage of Hong Kong’s four pillar industries (finance, trade and logistics, tourism and professional services) and to promote the six industries (Medical Services, Environmental Industries, Testing and Certification, Educational Services, Innovation and Technology, Cultural and Creative Industries). To provide timely and adequate land to the market is essential. More importantly, it is the public expectations to improve the living environment, including the lowering of building density, increase in activity space. At the same time we strive to protect the natural environment, and conserve our cultural and historical heritages. All these requirements increase the demand for land.
Up to 2039, the increase in new population is estimated to be 1.8 million, it is estimated that we will need an extra of about 2,000 ha of residential land and about 2,500 ha of land for other uses, totaling 4,500ha, assuming the use of the existing overall average ratio of 1:1.3 for the residential land to supporting infrastructure land. However, the public are demanding lower development density with more supporting facilities which necessitate higher demand for land. For example, under current planning, the ratio of residential land to supporting infrastructure land for the North East New Territories New Development Areas is 1:4, and the ratio for Kai Tak Development even reaches 1:8.3. If the ratios of these new development areas are used, land required will be several times more than the currently estimated 4,500 ha. Land supply sources currently known, totaling about 3,000 ha., are generally of lower planning density with more supporting facilities for development. The shortfall of land will therefore be more than 1,500 ha.
C9. What is the progress of redevelopment of old urban areas and how much land can be released in the future? Can urban redevelopment replace reclamation?
In the past decade, only 9 ha. of land was supplied through redevelopment projects carried out by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA). During the same period, approximately 1,190 ha. of land was provided via reclamation, rezoning, and resumption.
The proportion of land provided through redevelopment (0.7%) is relatively insignificant. The large-scale redevelopment projects under consideration by the URA and those implemented by private property developers involves about 30 ha. of land. While other redevelopment projects are mainly market-driven, the land area involved and the project progress are hard to estimate. Further increase in development density as an incentive for redevelopment is very controversial, and there is no consensus in the society. In general, increasing development density in the old urban area does not meet the public aspiration for improving the living environment. Also, redevelopment projects will affect existing residents and facilities, and generate substantial amount of public fill. These require complementary reclamation to provide decant sites for resettlement of affected residents and facilities, and handle the surplus public fill.
C10. What is the relationship between reclamation sites and Hong Kong’s overall town planning?
The reclamation sites put forth by Government at this stage are in response to the public views collected in the Stage 1 Public Engagement exercise, which called for proposals of actual locations to facilitate discussion. The list of possible sites may be expanded or shortened in response to public views, so the list of sites is by no means finalized. In the next stage when reclamation sites will be shortlisted, Government will holistically consider the potential sites in the context of the overall spatial planning and strategic transport infrastructure frameworks.
C11. Can Government provide the planned use of the reclamation site?
We do not have a final list of reclamation sites. 25 possible reclamation sites are provided in response to public views of many stakeholders in the hope that these examples will help the public in having in-depth discussion of our proposed initial site selection criteria. The land use of the reclaimed land will be determined through established mechanism, including professional planning and engineering feasibility studies, public consultation and statutory procedures under the Town Planning Ordinance etc.
C12. Can Hong Kong increase land supply via the opening up of the Closed Area?
In January 2008, the Government decided to release about 2,400 ha of land in stages by reducing the Closed Area from 2,800 ha. to about 400 ha. The Planning Department has completed the ‘Study on Land Use Planning for the Closed Area’ in July 2010. The study area mainly comprises fish ponds, hilly terrains, natural landscape areas, fung shui woodland, burial grounds, and rivers/streams. It is situated between the highly urbanized Shenzhen to its north, and the existing new towns and the proposed NDAs of the North East New Territories to its south. Excessive development should be avoided in the study area so as to prevent urban sprawl, and to preserve the existing ecological resources and the rural environment. This is in line with the HK2030 Study, which provides the strategic planning framework for territorial development, that priority development areas will be in the NDAs as well as vacant and under-utilized land in the new towns and urban areas. The results of the study are that about 56% of land is recommended as conservation zones or zones that have a presumption against development, including hilly terrains, woodland, wetland, and sites of high ecological value; about 37% of land is recommended for promoting economic and tourist activities, including eco-lodge development in Ma Tso Lung, residential development in Kong Nga Po and Hung Lung Hang, and development corridor for cross-boundary trades/logistics activities, commercial and shopping uses and entertainment, leisure, and tourism uses in the vicinity of major roads leading to / from the boundary control points. A range of uses including hi-tech, commercial and creative industries could be undertaken in the development corridor. The remaining 7% of land is planned for Government or community facilities and roads. In the long run, social circumstances and development needs may change. The function of the released Closed Area may have to be re-examined and put into wise use appropriate at its time.
C13. Why don't we develop country parks in lieu of reclamation?
The country parks are important natural assets and important wildlife habitat of Hong Kong. They can facilitate the absorption of carbon dioxide, removal of air pollutants, regulation of microclimate, and collection of rainwater. They are the ‘lungs’ of this cosmopolitan city, for the benefit and enjoyment of all citizens. Most of the country parks are in hilly terrain and located in remote areas with no major infrastructure. Large-scale development in country parks will involve removal of hills and large-scale infrastructure projects and seriously jeopardize the natural environment and ecology. Removal of hills and the associated infrastructure projects will also generate significant amount of public fill which will require reclamation as a method for disposal in the end. Whether we opt for developing part of the country parks instead of reclamation outside Victoria Harbour will ultimately depend on the wish of the general public.
C14. Why can’t we develop Kam Tin/Au Tau in lieu of reclamation?
Being largely for rural uses, development at Kam Tin / Au Tau is fraught with constraints. About 60% of land is private land with fragmented ownership. Large-scale development of Kam Tin will thus involve many complicated problems relating to land resumption, compensation, clearance and resettlement. As regards the remaining 40% of land, most are used for infrastructural facilities. As Kam Tin is located near Shek Kong Airfield, development is also subject to building height restrictions. Moreover, large-scale development will cause significant ecological impact on the area, heritage and cultural impacts on the existing villages (for example, Ng Ka Tsuen, Kat Hing Wai, etc.).
Notwithstanding, we have identified the West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station and Pat Heung Depot in Kam Tin and the adjacent rural area as having enormous potential for providing more housing land. We will soon launch public consultation on two property projects above the West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station and Pat Heung Depot. It is estimated that these projects will provide about 8,700 flats, giving impetus to the development of the southern part of Kam Tin.
Developing Kam Tin/Au Tau alone cannot provide adequate land supply for the long-term need of Hong Kong and building up a land reserve. Also, it could not help resolve the surplus public fill problem, and thus could not replace reclamation.
B1. Why did Government release 25 reclamation sites in the middle of the Stage 1 public engagement (PE) exercise (early January 2012) when there was no mentioning of such sites in Stage 1 Public Engagement Digest?
B2. Are these 25 locations proposed reclamation sites?
The list of 25 possible reclamation sites is not a confirmed list of selected reclamation sites. Our objective is to better understand how the public consider the initial site selection criteria through listening to the views expressed about these possible sites. Based on the comments collected at Stage 1 Public Engagement, we will review and finalize the site selection criteria with a view to identifying potential reclamation sites. We aim to identify about 10 potential reclamation sites in mid 2012 for conducting a technical assessment of the sites and consultation with the relevant local communities during the Stage 2 Public Engagement exercise which is planned to commence in the 3rd quarter of 2012.
B3. Government proposes reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development to satisfy the demand for land. Why can’t Government consider other land supply options?
Government proposes six land supply options including rezoning, redevelopment, land resumption, reclamation, rock cavern development, and re-use of ex-quarry sites. Since each of the options has its own limitations, our model of land supply has to be multi-pronged, so as to complement each other for providing decant sites for resettlement of affected residents and facilities, handling surplus public fill, building up land reserve to timely provide land to cope with the ever changing demands. To satisfy our long-term needs, Hong Kong needs a more flexible and resilient mix of land supply options. While the four existing options (rezoning, redevelopment, land resumption and re-use of ex-quarry sites) will be continually implemented, we need to resume reclamation and develop rock caverns for housing suitable facilities in order to satisfy our demand for more land.
B4. As Government emphasizes the use of six land supply options at the same time, why does the public engagement exercise only focus on reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development?
A1. What is the Public Engagement of Enhancing Land Supply Strategy for?
Land is one of the most valuable assets of Hong Kong which touches every aspect of our daily life. It is becoming ever more challenging to ensure an adequate and steady land supply. With the Public Engagement exercise, we aim at understanding your views on enhancing the land supply strategy, particularly on supplying land through reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development.
A2. Why do we need to consider reclamation outside Victoria Harbour and rock cavern development?
A3. Why does Hong Kong require more land supply?
We need more land to cope with population growth, rising aspiration for quality living environment and economic development.
To underpin the sustainable development of Hong Kong, it is necessary to enhance our land supply strategy by devising a good mix of supply options and building up a sufficiently large land reserve to achieve a balance among social, environmental and economic needs.
A4. What are the existing land supply options used in Hong Kong?
There are six existing land supply options: Rezoning, Redevelopment, Land Resumption, Reclamation, Rock Cavern Development, and Re-use of Ex-quarry Sites. However, each of these options has its own limitation and challenges. For more details, please refer to Stage 1 Public Engagement Digest in ‘Information Centre’.
A5. What are the objectives of Stage 1 and Stage 2 Public Engagement?
In Stage 1 Public Engagement exercise, we are particularly interested in knowing public views on the following:
- Option of increasing land supply through reclamation outside Victoria Harbour
- Option of increasing land supply through rock cavern development
- Site selection criteria
- Proposed land uses and possible site locations
We plan to conduct the Stage 2 Public Engagement exercise in the third quarter of 2012 to solicit views on the potential sites.
A6. How will you make use of my views?
The Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) of the University of Hong Kong has been commissioned to independently collect and compile public views. We will consider public views, and together with findings of the technical studies, work out a set of site selection criteria so that potential sites can be identified for Stage 2 Public Engagement tentatively scheduled in the third quarter of 2012.
A7. How can I send a submission or express my views?
- Emailing us at email@example.com
- Sending a fax to (852) 2714 2054
- Sending written comments to 4/F Civil Engineering and Development Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Homantin, Kowloon (Please specify ‘Enhancing Land Supply Strategy’)
Stage one of the public engagement exercise has extended, please send us your comments on or before 31 March 2012.
A8. How can I attend a Public Engagement event?
Part A - Updated on 21 March 2013
A1. What are the findings of Stage 1 Public Engagement?
Stage 1 Public Engagement (PE1) was conducted between November 2011 and March 2012. PE1 results revealed that the majority of the public generally agreed to increase land supply, establish a land reserve and adopt a multi-pronged land supply approach for enhancing land supply.
On reclamation outside Victoria Harbour, the public opinions were mixed, with most of the objecting views focused on specific illustrative reclamation sites that might cause great impacts on the local communities and the environment.
A2. What were the public views on the site selection criteria for reclamation?
Members of the public generally agreed on the eight site selection criteria, which include (1) Impact on local community; (2) Site location and accessibility (3) Can it meet local needs; (4) Environmental impacts; (5) Environmental benefits; (6) Cost effectiveness; (7) Planning flexibility; and (8) Engineering feasibility with guiding principles in accordance with the social, environmental and economic benefits, and with particular emphasis on the criteria relating to the ecological and social impacts.
A3. What are the objectives of Stage 2 Public Engagement?
The objectives of Stage 2 public engagement include the following:
- to share with the public the need for building up a land reserve
- to introduce the potential reclamation and rock cavern development sites
- to consult the public on the issues of concern of the individual potential reclamation and rock cavern development sites.
- We will consult public views on the main concerns of the potential sites which will be incorporated into the coming technical studies.
Part B - Updated on 14 May 2013
B1. What are the impacts on Chinese White Dolphins (CWD) due to near-shore reclamation in the Western Waters? How would the impacts assessment be conducted?
The 3 potential near-shore reclamation sites in the Western Waters, namely Lung Kwu Tan and Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay, are mainly located in near-shore shallow waters. Sighting records of CWD have been limited in the area. We plan to appoint dolphin experts in mid 2013 to conduct a 6-month field survey through theodoite tracking and underwater acoustic monitoring. Behaviors and distribution of CWD in the areas (especially in shallow waters) will be collected and analysed with a view to study how CWD may be affected by reclamation.
B2. What is virtual reclamation and what are its objectives?
Virtual reclamation is still in its conceptualisation stage. We plan to install physical barriers such as shark nets or similar means along the boundaries of a potential site to simulate post-reclamation shorelines and record the activities of CWD in the waters nearby and outside the virtual reclamation zone. By comparing the data before and after virtual reclamation, the actual impacts on CWD due to reclamation could be deduced. We will base on CWD activities record outside the virtual reclamation area to identify and study possible habitats with a view to achieving the vision of "coexistence of human and dolphins".
We will work with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and dolphin experts on the feasibility and methodology of the proposed virtual reclamation.
B3. What have been done so far with the strategic environmental assessment for the search of reclamation sites?
The Government has completed the following tasks with regard to the strategic environmental assessment of short-listed reclamation sites:
(1) Review sites of high ecological value territory-wide to establish “No-go Areas” and avoid selecting reclamation sites that are of high ecological value.
(2) Strategically compare potential reclamation sites based on inputs from various technical assessments, including broad technical and environmental assessments, thereby shortlisting a number of proposed reclamation sites.
As three of the five near-shore reclamation sites (namely Lung Kwu Tan, Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay) are located in the Western Waters, we plan to conduct cumulative environmental impact assessment of these three sites, together with the existing and planned projects in the vicinity.
B4. What does the proposed cumulative environmental impact assessment (CEIA) of the potential near-shore reclamation sites in the Western Waters cover and how is the progress so far?
B5.The Government proposes to construct eco-shorelines in future reclamation zones. What are the methodologies involved?
We will consider designing eco-friendly shorelines at appropriate locations of the new reclamation area, by planting mangroves and other suitable native plants within intertidal zones. We will give further consideration to put in place reef balls to increase fishery resources, if the seabed level near the reclamation area is deep enough.
When there is a natural shoreline of high ecological value, we will consider building an intertidal zone to separate the natural shoreline and the reclamation area, such that the ecological environment along the natural shorelines could be maintained.
Apart from the above, under appropriate circumstances, we will also consider restoring artificial seawalls in the vicinity (by converting them into eco-shorelines), so as to enhance the overall ecological environment.
We shall organise workshops, and invite experts, academics as well as environmentalists to work together with us to explore the design of eco-shorelines.
B6. Why is residential use proposed for only one out of the five potential reclamation sites?
Apart from the potential reclamation site at Sunny Bay that may be subject to planning restriction due to proximity to flight paths, the other four potential reclamation sites have the potential to be considered for residential uses.
Stage 2 Public Engagement is now underway, during which we shall consult members of the public on future land uses of the reclamation sites. We shall conduct detailed technical studies, including statutory EIA, so as to define the extent of the reclamation zone and the possible land uses.
B7. The proposed reclamation site at Lung Kwu Tan is close to a number of not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) facilities, including power stations, landfill sites and open storage areas. Why is it still shortlisted as a potential reclamation site?
The potential reclamation site at Lung Kwu Tan is situated at a strategic location in the west of Hong Kong, adjacent to major infrastructure. It can be connected to the existing and planned major trunk roads, and is easily accessible to the airport, ports and Mainland China. Upon the completion of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link in 2018, Lung Kwu Tan would be connected to the Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to the south, and close to the proposed Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area and Shenzhen Bay Boundary Point to the north. This will help strengthen the regional planning and long-term development of North Lantau and Tuen Mun. The potential reclamation site at Lung Kwu Tan can create a new piece of land measuring 200-300 hectares to align with the Northwest New Territories development. It is a rare, large-scale near-shore reclamation site, which can be considered for a wide variety of land uses, including scientific and technological research and development and land reserve, thus facilitating economic growth and creating employment opportunities for the general public and residents of Northwest New Territories.
We have conducted broad technical assessment of the potential reclamation site at Lung Kwu Tan by making reference to environmental monitoring data and the approved EIA reports. The results indicate that the concentrations of the two major emissions from power plant, namely sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), meet the standards of the existing and new Air Quality Objectives. In addition, with CLP’s Emission Reduction Plan which is to be introduced in 2017, the air quality in the Lung Kwu Tan area will be further improved.
The EIA report of the West New Territories Landfill indicated that the air quality of Ha Pak Nai and Lung Kwu Sheung Tan does meet the requirements of the EIAO. Furthermore, a 150 to 200-metre high mountain ridge separates the said landfill site and Lung Kwu Tan, thus the impact on the latter is expected to be minimal.
The 200 to 300-hectare Lung Kwu Tan reclamation site will create synergy with the Northwest New Territories development and development of new towns. The temporary NIMBY facilities (for example, concrete plant and open-air storage) can be re-provided or relocated in overall detailed planning, with a view to align with the overall community development.
Stage 2 Public Engagement is now underway to consult members of the public on future land uses of the reclamation sites. We shall conduct detailed technical studies, including statutory EIA, so as to define the extent of the reclamation zone and potential land uses.
It is therefore premature to conclude at this stage whether existing specific facilities will have impacts on future land uses in the reclamation area.
B8. There were quite many objections to the reclamation proposal at Tolo Harbour in Stage 1 Public Engagement. Why is the Government still insist to propose the Ma Liu Shui site?
B9. If high-rise buildings are to be constructed upon completion of the Ma Liu Shui reclamation works, would there be a permanent change to the Ma Liu Shui and Sha Tin Hoi area, destroying the existing ridgeline and affecting the existing landscape?
In developing the Ma Liu Shui reclamation site, we shall conduct planning and engineering studies to establish the extent of the reclamation, the theme behind the plan, and the land use portfolio, as well as giving consideration of the possible impacts tall buildings will impose on the ridgelines after reclamation works are completed. Therefore, detailed landscape and visual impacts assessment will be conducted to ascertain that impacts are acceptable. At the same time, beautification works will be implemented to optimise the surrounding environment.
B10. If high-rise buildings are to be constructed upon completion of the Ma Liu Shui reclamation works, would they hinder the circulation of natural wind, hence decreasing air flow in the Sha Tin and Tai Wai areas and resulting in higher temperatures?
The Shing Mun River currently provides a breezeway of about 400 metres wide (differs from the width of the river) for the Sha Tin District. The breezeway of the future reclamation site will not be less than 400 metres wide, and the widest part will exceed 1 kilometre. Since the extent of the reclamation zone and its land uses remain undetermined at this stage, we shall optimise the extent of the construction site, and implement appropriate planning of the development layout so to prevent adverse impacts on the air circulation of the district.
Air ventilation assessment will be conducted by means of fluid dynamic modeling after preliminary land uses have been established. By introducing mitigating measures including revising the development blue print and building height (for example, by including a breezeway in the development blueprint), we aim to ensure an acceptable level of air circulation.
B11. If the Ma Liu Shui site is developed for residential uses, can the existing community facilities and transportation network of Shatin District cope with the population growth?
The proposed reclamation site at Ma Liu Shui will be used for comprehensive development. Apart from residential buildings, adequate community facilities, including open spaces, healthcare facilities, schools, transportation and elderly facilities, will be provided at the reclamation site and its vicinity in accordance with the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.
In terms of traffic, traffic congestions will be relieved by the Tolo Highway widening works and the SCL project which are underway. Detailed traffic impact assessment will be conducted and mitigation measures proposed in future studies on this site.