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Old December 3rd, 2015, 05:07 AM   #1981
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Monday, November 30, 2015
'Let’s be pragmatic in solving HK’s land crunch'
China Daily Excerpt

Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po has called for pragmatism in tackling Hong Kong’s land crunch problem, as an opinion poll shows that a polarizing debate over the issue has led to a split over controversial options to boost land reserves.

More than half of Hong Kong, at present, is covered by vegetation that includes a green belt — a zoning that serves as a buffer between country parks and urban clusters. The city’s government is working to convert about 70 green belt sites into residential land, but these efforts have been stalled by court challenges.

Writing in his official weekly blog, Chan, who’s in charge of land exploitation, slammed critics who base their arguments against building homes beyond the urban boundaries on distorted facts, as well as prejudice.

A common notion against green belt development is that the hillside locations are only suitable for low-density, high-end homes. But, in reality, Chan pointed out, more than 70 percent of these sites are reserved for public housing, while the infrastructure at other sites will not suit the needs of public housing residents as well.

For those sites that are unsuitable for public housing, he argued, it would be unreasonable to move grassroots residents to remote corners of the city, and also unfair to those who don’t qualify for subsidized homes as prices will soar without further market supply.

Hong Kong’s existing land crunch is caused by more than a decade of inaction in ensuring sustained land supply, Chan wrote. Instead of looking at options to boost homes supply, he said opponents of development are distracting the public by highlighting the conflicting interests of various stakeholders.

Thus, he said, a rational and pragmatic debate on land supply is needed, as all viable options are not easy to fulfill. On the other hand, putting too many restrictions on an otherwise open-ended discussion will only provoke conflict and hurt the public.

Among the hard choices is to expand the city’s limits to its natural reserves and waters.

A survey released on Sunday shows the community is almost equally split on the exploitation of legally protected country parks and land reclamation. The poll covered 1,031 residents who were asked for their views on housing policies by [email protected] Kong, an independent group that used to test the popularity of electoral reform proposals.

It shows that a higher portion of those interviewed — 47.5 percent against 44.5 percent — opposed turning country parks into residential homes. But those who supported and opposed land reclamation stood at 47.7 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
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Old December 4th, 2015, 03:49 AM   #1982
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Extra HK$5 billion needed on Sha Tin-Central link
4 December 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



Government will ask Legco for more money to finish work on three stations, while two sections of MTR project have been hit by delays

Cost overruns continue to hit the MTR Corporation’s railway projects, as it was revealed that the Sha Tin-Central Link will need about HK$5 billion more to complete construction work at three of its 10 stations.

The government said it would seek extra funding from the Legislative Council to make up the shortfall, which could not be covered by the project contingency fee after the latest cost estimate, to be submitted by the MTR by next quarter, was assessed.

The estimated construction cost for the project is about HK$79.8 billion and is funded by the government, which entrusted the MTR with construction, testing and commissioning.

The target opening date for the Tai Wai to Hung Hom section is December 2018, while that for the Hung Hom to Admiralty section is December 2020.

But in the latest progress report filed with Legco’s transport panel, the Transport and Housing Bureau said the Tai Wai to Hung Hom Section could not operate until 2019 at the earliest, while the Hung Hom to Admiralty section would be postponed to 2021, six months behind the original schedule.

Among the stations along the 17km link, the To Kwa Wan stop will need at least HK$4.1 billion more to fund the expansion of archaeological work near the site.

Expansion work at Admiralty Station requires an extra HK$1.3 billion, while construction delays at the Exhibition Station in Wan Chai will lead to an unspecified increase in building costs.

The MTR Corp and the government caused a storm on Monday by revealing that the new estimate for the high-speed railway to Guangzhou was HK$84.42 billion, up HK$19.6 billion.

Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai said details about the latest cost overruns were not yet available. But he said the costs for excavating and preserving relics in To Kwa Wan should be seen as a separate item in determining the additional funding needed.

“Conservation of archaeological finds is a worthwhile cause. But the MTR has to explain whether the latest surge in costs was actually due to poor management,” Wu said.
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Old December 4th, 2015, 05:08 PM   #1983
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Dec 4, 2015
Massive youth hostel project in Yuen Long to provide 1,680 beds



Po Leung Kuk is set to apply for funding from the government to build a massive youth hostel in Yuen Long, Sing Tao Daily reported Friday, citing James Chan Yum-min, the charity’s chief executive.

In January, tycoon Lee Shau-kee, chairman of Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd. (00012.HK), donated a 63,000 square foot site at Ma Tin Pok for Po Leung Kuk – which provides support for children and women, education and other social services – to build Hong Kong’s biggest youth hostel.

Chan said the project, named Youth Oasis, has passed reviews by the Town Planning Board and the Yuen Long district council during the past few months and has been gazetted.

The next step is to get funding.

Chan said applications for funds are expected to be filed to the Legislative Council’s finance committee.

The funds will be used to pay construction consultants and for construction fees.

The total amount is estimated to be more than HK$1 billion (US$129 million).

Chan said it will take about six months for the funding applications to be approved.

The project — one of five that aim to help young people save money on rent before they can afford to buy a home — is scheduled for completion in two or three years, he said.

A progress report on the project will be submitted to Legco’s home affairs panel next week, Chan said.

The plan is for the youth hostel to supply 1,248 rooms with a total of 1,680 beds.

There will be 816 single rooms, at a projected monthly rent of HK$2,000, and 432 double rooms, at HK$3,000, based on market rates.
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Old December 4th, 2015, 08:07 PM   #1984
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Plz tell me they are not going to build that
It looks worse than public houses
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Old December 5th, 2015, 05:23 AM   #1985
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Lawmaker fails in bid to oust PLA for flats
5 December 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt







Albert Chan criticises government for failing to explain rejection of rezoning application

The Town Planning Board yesterday rejected a lawmaker’s application to rezone two People’s Liberation Army barracks in Kowloon and put up public housing.

Albert Chan Wai-yip of People Power had proposed building residential blocks on the 10-hectare Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong – also known as the Kowloon East Barracks – and the 11-hectare Gun Club Hill Barracks in Tsim Sha Tsui. He said the land could provide 12,900 Home Ownership Scheme flats for middle-income house-hunters.

Before the board made its decision, District Planning Officer Lawrence Chau Yat-cheung explained that the two sites were zoned for “other specified uses”, a description annotated with the words “military use” – an arrangement that could be traced back decades.

Chan criticised the panel for rejecting his application without giving a proper explanation.

“The government did not ask the PLA to explain how many soldiers are stationed at the barracks and the usage of the land before making the decision,” he said. “This is simply a blind decision made to reject the application.”

The Planning Department said earlier it would not support the application as the barracks served defence purposes.

According to Article 13 of the country’s Garrison Law, the Hong Kong garrison’s land can be returned to the city’s government, with the central government’s approval, if it is no longer needed for military use.

Hong Kong can also apply to the central government to use military land for public purposes. But if it wins approval in such a case, the city must then find and pay for an alternative site for the military.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 07:59 AM   #1986
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Slow sales despite price dip
The Standard Excerpt
Monday, December 07, 2015


Yuccie Square by Gohome.com.hk

Five new home projects have been given a weak reception by buyers this past weekend.

The lackluster sales come as government data showed a drop in home prices for the first time in 18 months.

Two major projects in Yuen Long from Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) and CK Property (1113) have sold 264 units as of Saturday only half of the total number of available flats.

CK Property has released another 150 units of Yuccie Square to the market 608 have been sold so far.

Chinachem Group's luxury project Jade Grove has sold 10 units out of the 32 released units. For small-sized flats, Henderson Land (0012) has sold 10 of the 38 studio units in its Zutten project in Ma Tau Kok.
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Old December 8th, 2015, 04:26 PM   #1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
7/16

Visionary, Tung Chung
12/6

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Old December 9th, 2015, 05:59 PM   #1988
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Forty years of fashion finished
Demolition of Hong Kong's famed Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar dismays designers

7 December 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt





In his 38 years selling textiles at the Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar in Sham Shui Po, West Kowloon, Chan Yu-tung has always been ready to lend customers a hand. He has helped fashion students select easy-to-handle fabrics for their first clothes-making projects. He accommodates hobbyists' requests to cut just half a yard of material - unless they pick a bolt of fabric stuck at the bottom of a pile that's stacked all the way to the sheet-metal ceiling.

He was even game when designer Dorothy Lam Wing-yu, then a final-year fashion student at Polytechnic University,invited him to model a collection of contemporary tangzhuang for her graduation project in 2003.

"I had been a regular at Chan's stall for years, but our conversation never went beyond business," says Lam. "But when I was looking for the face for my collection, he was the first person who came to mind. I thought he'd take me for a fool when I explained the purpose of my visit, so his swift consent took me unawares. That's when we started to become firm friends."

Eyes crinkling, 82-year-old Chan smiles as he shows off a prized black-and-white picture of himself at a tram shelter in Central, looking dapper in an outfit by Lam.

"Her collection is stunning. I've never thought us pensioners could be so fashion-forward."

Lam, now 36, is among the many Hong Kong fashion designers to have tapped into the colourful chaos of the city's last textile market to realise their dreams.

The bazaar was set up in the 1970s when the government moved hawkers off nearby streets to its site opposite Sham Shui Po Police Station. More than 100 textile vendors once crammed into the site, which resembles a small squatter village with its patchwork roof of corrugated metal, plastic sheets and tarpaulins. Although they are set out along a grid, the lack of clear signage can make navigating the warren of closely packed stalls a challenge for many visitors.

Now this cradle of style makers is set to be bulldozed, like similar markets in Gilman Street, Central, and Bowring Street, Jordan. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has given notice to the two dozen traders holding hawker licences to leave by the end of this month, to make way for the construction of public housing.

The bazaar's clearance has been on the cards since 2000, when policymakers decided that fabric traders in the cramped and poorly ventilated bazaar (temperatures can be stifling in summer) should be moved out for redevelopment.

Vendors and activists see the demolition as gentrification. Supporters of the quirky, if scruffy bazaar have plastered fencing next to the entrances with protest banners, and a patchwork quilt peppered with messages of solidarity. At weekends, some have organised guided tours and host sketching and photography events in the hope of garnering support for their cause.

For Chan, it is the second time he is being forced to make way for urban redevelopment. He sold textiles from a licensed hawker stall on nearby Yu Chau Street for 20 years until the site was swallowed up by new bus lanes after construction of the MTR's Tsuen Wan Line. After the women bought cult prints from my stall, they would head to the tailors in the vicinity and get measured.
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Old December 12th, 2015, 05:04 AM   #1989
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12月12日 (六)
旺角工貿署大樓標售值65億

Excerpt

Synopsis : The Trade and Industry Department building in Mongkok will be re-zoned from government to commercial use. The estimated value is between HKD 4.8-6.54 billion. Bids are open until next January. The building is expected to be either renovated or demolished.





政府積極釋放核心區商用物業,產業署標售旺角工業貿易署大樓,市場估值最高達65.4億元,料為政府近年涉及最大金額的商用標售物業。

產業署昨刊憲標售旺角工業貿易署大樓,項目樓面逾28.4萬方呎,地舖連租約出售,其餘樓面則交吉出售,明年一月八日截標。市場估值逾48億至約65.4億元,料屬政府近年標售最大額商業項目。有測量師指標售物業不包括港鐵通風樓佔有的少量業權,若重建料磋商須時,故估計買家購入翻新出租或拆售機會較大。
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Old December 16th, 2015, 09:19 AM   #1990
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Dec 14, 2015
Think you’ve seen enough sub-divided flats?



Owners of sub-divided flats have found a new way to double their rental units — they’re sub-dividing them vertically, leaving just enough crawl space in them.

One such flat is being rented to a 64-year-old woman, surnamed Yung, for HK$1,500 (US$194) a month, Cable News reports.

For the past five years, Yung has lived in a small cell in the “upper section” of the flat which has been turned into six sub-divided units — three cells on two levels.

Yung uses a ladder to get to her cubicle which shares a washroom and toilet with other cells in the unit.

The toilet sits at the foot of the ladder.

That means if the toilet is in use, Yung can’t go in or out of her unit.

Yung’s dwelling has a four-foot clearance from the ceiling, so even when she is kneeling, she is liable to hit her head.

A small window several inches wide provides the only source of ventilation to a narrow common corridor.

Vertically sub-divided flats could be in breach of fire regulations and the building ordinance, the report says, citing a structural engineer.

He said the added load could undermine the structural integrity of other units below them.

Social workers said these types of flats with poor living conditions are commonplace in Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong.
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Old December 17th, 2015, 04:58 PM   #1991
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Quote:
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Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
28/F, T/O
http://www.shacombank.com.hk/pdf/PRL450E.pdf

11/18

12/17

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Old December 24th, 2015, 12:39 AM   #1992
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Wing Tai beats rivals
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, December 24, 2015



Wing Tai Properties (0369) has outbid 10 mostly major developers, grabbing a site in Tuen Mun (pictured above) for HK$1.06 billion, or HK$4,008 per square foot. The price is 13 percent lower than plots sold in the area in July.

Meanwhile, Sino Land (0083) won a commercial site in Yuen Long for HK$1.69 billion.

Both sites are said to have met land premium market estimates. The premium on the Tuen Mun residential site on So Kwun Wat Road was close to the lower end of the HK$1.05 billion market estimate. The site, which can produce a maximum gross floor area of 263,500 square feet, is subject to judicial review pending a government decision to change its land use from greenbelt to residential.

A Wing Tai spokesman said medium density homes will be built on the Tuen Mun site.

Midland Surveyors director Alvin Lam Tsz-bun said that while the site is relatively small, Tuen Mun is popular for new home projects. Harrow International School is a big draw for future property developments in the area.
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Old December 29th, 2015, 05:47 PM   #1993
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'Brownfield sites should be prioritised'
28 December 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The government should introduce a policy to prioritise the development of more than 1,200 hectares of brownfield site land in the city, an urban planning concern group said yesterday.

Liber Research Community spent the past year mapping brownfield sites - such as open car parks, storage depots and recycling yards - using tools like Google Earth and Google Maps.

It found 1,192 hectares of mostly unused or misused brownfield sites across nine areas in Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and the North District. Only about 40 per cent of the land was being used properly for recycling or storage.

"We need a comprehensive policy framework on brownfield land, but the government doesn't have one," said Chan Kim-ching, one of the researchers.

He urged the government to restore brownfield sites first and work out solutions with those who were misusing them as makeshift carparks and container storage yards.

Chan also criticised the government for failing to properly engage with green groups, and resorting to indirect exchanges through one-sided blogs instead.

The government currently aims to clear at least 347 hectares of land in Hung Shui Kiu, Yuen Long South and Kwu Tung North.

But, the administration came under fire recently from conservationists for suggesting green belts in the city were not untouchable. In response, development minister Paul Chan Mo-po repeatedly said the government was only looking to develop 150 hectares - or about 1 per cent - of the city's green belt land, primarily those sites with low ecological value.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 01:43 PM   #1994
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Hong Kong developer submits downsized plan for 'state of art' columbarium in Chai Wan
South China Morning Post Excerpt
24 November 2015







Developers behind a proposed "state-of-the-art" private columbarium in Chai Wan have submitted a revised town planning application with 30 per cent fewer niches.

Kerry Warehouse said the move, which would see capacity reduced from 120,000 urn niches to 82,000, was made to minimise the potential impact on residents and the surrounding area.

The company withdrew its first application earlier this year amid strong opposition from local people and politicians.

Some expressed misgivings about having another columbarium nearby. There were also concerns about traffic jams during grave-sweeping festivals.

The plan involves converting a warehouse on Ka Yip Street to a 15-storey private columbarium called the Island Memorial Centre. Niches would be equipped with digital photo plaques of the deceased and the facility will restrict burning of joss, incense or offerings to funeral days.

The company said traffic issues would be solved by free shuttle bus services from Heng Fa Chuen and Quarry Bay MTR stations. A system would be introduced to restrict visits to preregistered appointments.

"Having listened to the views and concerns of the local community and stakeholders, Kerry Warehouse has revised the plan to address local community needs and concerns," the company said.

"The facility will help alleviate the shortage of urn niches, while … setting new standards for the industry."
Opposition builds over urn store for godown
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lawmakers from People Power and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions are opposing the conversion of a Chai Wan godown into a private columbarium.

They have lodged their opposition to the proposed development at the Kerry Godown site in Ka Yip Street with the Town Planning Board.

They believe the columbarium may attract more than one million extra visitors to the area during festivals.

FTU lawmaker and Eastern District councillor Kwok Wai-keung said Chai Wan already hosts more than 200,000 niches.

"If a new columbarium is built, the transport system in Eastern District will be overloaded during Chung Yeung and Ching Ming festivals," Kwok said.

In February, Kerry Logistics applied to build an Island Memorial Center for 120,000 urns, but withdrew its proposal in September only to submit a revised plan for 82.000 in November. Public consultation on the proposed columbarium ends on Saturday.

"It was tricky of the developer to submit the application again as the 7,000 objection letters submitted during the last consultation will not be counted," Kwok said.
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Old January 6th, 2016, 02:56 PM   #1995
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Living the high life: Hong Kong tops world charts for skyscrapers - and most of them are residential
31 December 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



When you think of the world's most striking cityscapes, you might initially imagine the towering skyscrapers of New York, Dubai or even Shanghai.

But these days it's Hong Kong which has the most skyscrapers of any city in the world - with nearly three quarters of them used for housing.

With 310 high-rises standing at least 492 feet height, the city has overtaken its international counterparts in the global city rankings by number of skyscrapers, helped by a spike in residential development projects completed since the late 1990s.

Hong Kong has seen a boom in skyscraper construction at the start of the new millennium.

The year 2003 has seen a peak 56 skyscrapers completed in the city, highlighted by 88-storey Two International Finance Centre in Central District that was once the tallest in the city before being surpassed by International Commerce Centre in Kowloon, now the world's ninth tallest by height, in 2010.

Four out of the 10 cities in the world with the most skyscrapers are located in mainland China.

Shanghai claimed the fourth spot; Guangzhou the seventh, followed by southwestern municipality Chongqing on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and Hong Kong's neighbour Shenzhen.
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Old January 9th, 2016, 05:58 AM   #1996
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Memorial to fallen officers to be rebuilt
8 January 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt



Redevelopment set for existing plaque at Gallant Garden, but government ignores police call for a monument at its headquarters in Admiralty

Government officials are to rebuild the existing memorial plaque for civil servants who die while on duty, but have failed to answer police calls for a statue to be erected in the heart of the city, the South China Morning Post has learned.

During a meeting between the Junior Police Officers' Association and Civil Service Bureau officials on Wednesday evening, the bureau revealed plans to refurbish the 20-year-old plaque at Gallant Garden at Wo Hop Shek in the northern New Territories, but stressed that it was not a compromise offer to the police union's call for a monument to be built at the government headquarters

"The bureau plans to tear down the current plaque and build a new one," an insider told the Post.

"It would be a giant wall plaque with names of all deceased civil servants on it, like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. There will also be road construction, and an open plaza will be built."

The source said the bureau came up with the idea simply because the existing plaque was old and needed to be repaired.

It is understood that sketches of the new plaque were shown during the meeting, whereas the police union's proposal was not discussed.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 06:04 AM   #1997
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HZMB is vital to Lantau's future development
7 January 2016
China Daily Excerpt



Thomas Chan says a practical and intelligent approach to developments on the SAR's biggest island will offer great benefits

There have been discussions and plans for developing Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong, since the early 2000s. However, government ideas on this have been changing. The recent proposal for the development of an East Lantau Metropolis has not been fully elaborated and researched. Moreover, the public have not been consulted over it.

The key to conceptualizing the development of Lantau Island is the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) which is now under construction. The bridge will link Hong Kong with the western coast of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. It will complete the overland transport loop joining the major cities in the PRD. It is from opportunities arising from improved connectivity that more aggressive thinking about Lantau Island's place in the development of Hong Kong has emerged. This entails transforming it into an international transport, logistics and trade hub in the PRD. The East Lantau Metropolis idea is an extension of this combined with the westward extension of the central business district on Hong Kong Island.

The HZMB is vital to the development of Lantau Island. Unfortunately there has been too much emphasis on increased connectivity and too little sober reflection on the inadequacies of the bridge in its present form. The chief drawback is the lack of a railway link along the bridge. To serve as a fast and convenient overland mode of transport for the PRD, crossing the boundaries of Hong Kong and Macao and the mainland, railway and one-window exit and entry checkpoints are essential. The HZMB lacks both. The potential increase in connectivity is thus much reduced - more so when the recently approved transport link between Shenzhen and Zhongshan is completed. This will be able to serve traffic between the two coasts of the PRD by railway and without exit and entry checkpoints.

Without the great boost in traffic and other economic gains from the HZMB, and with recent stagnation in cross-boundary demand for logistics due to the growth of Shenzhen and Guangzhou into larger ports for maritime transport than Hong Kong, it will be difficult for Lantau Island to become an international transport, logistics and trade hub in the PRD and to compete with other major transport hubs on the mainland. The proposed logistics park on the island is an outdated idea.

On the other hand, Hong Kong has lost some of its attractiveness to mainland tourists. They constitute the great majority of inbound tourists. But with the expansion of theme and amusement parks on the mainland, it would not be advisable for Hong Kong to develop Lantau Island further for inbound tourists. Theme parks are land-intensive and often add little value. They have little spillover effect for employment and the service sector in the local economy. The opportunity costs for large tracts of land for theme park use will be too expensive.

There has been a steady relocation of the local population from the old urban districts. But this has mostly been to the New Territories in the north, closer to and beyond the border with Shenzhen, rather than to islands including Lantau. Unless there is a radical change to local immigration policy, demographically Hong Kong is aging and will not see a large expansion in its population. The development of Tung Chung into a larger residential district may also be limited.

Perhaps the best chance for expanding the present Tung Chung community is to evolve into an airport business zone. It can then leverage on the heavy passenger and cargo traffic flows and the easy international connectivity of the airport. As a business zone with space for construction of office towers and commercial buildings, it would provide local employment opportunities to reduce pressure on the transport links with the rest of the territory. But most importantly it would support Hong Kong International Airport so its hub functions and their spillover effects enhanced the competitiveness of the airport and Hong Kong.

An airport business zone could replace the extremely expensive and environmentally damaging East Lantau Metropolis proposed by the government, and which would be founded on the reclamation for artificial island(s) in the central waters of Hong Kong. For residential purposes, there is considerable space to accommodate greater number of families in existing settlements like Lantau Island's Discovery Bay and nearby islands like Peng Chau, Cheung Chau and others. This is if the government is willing to improve road transport and ferry services, because most of these settlements have witnessed recent population declines because of poor accessibility.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 05:33 PM   #1998
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Upper West 奧城.西岸
11/22



1/10

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Old January 11th, 2016, 07:28 AM   #1999
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Jan 11, 2016
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Lantau panel suggestions spark worries about ecological impact



After nearly two years of deliberations, the Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC) has submitted a report on issues related to potential new development initiatives for Lantau Island.

The report has sparked worries that Lantau could be developed into a playground for mainland visitors, given its suggestion of turning the “geographical condition of Lantau from an outlying island to a significant region of Hong Kong”.

In a 33-page report submitted Sunday to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, LanDAC, which was established after Leung’s 2014 policy address, recommended that the government set up 14 recreational and tourist sites on Hong Kong’s biggest island, Apple Daily reported.

The committee said in a press release that it has fully considered the current situation of various districts in Lantau, including the conservation needs and the development potential, and put forward its vision and its recommendation on short-term work.

Facilities for sky observation and camping sites can be set up at Sunset Peak, which is famous for Chinese silver grass and enchanting scenes of sunrise, while piers and recreational activities, such as paragliding, can be added in Shui Hau, a place at the southern part of Lantau where horseshoe crabs reproduce, LanDAC suggested.

It also recommended that retreat facilities can be built in Ngong Ping, Luk Wu, Keung Shan, Tei Tong Tsai and Ling Wui Shan that are popular with people who seek peaceful environs.

It is worth looking at the possibility of extending the Ngong Ping Cable Car to Tai O, the panel said.

With land reclamation of 60-80 hectares close to northern Lantau’s MTR Siu Ho Wan Depot, on top of which residential flats can also be built, a northern Lantau corridor linked to Tung Chung and the airport can be formed, LanDAC said, estimating that there will be about one million people living in Lantau.

As for eastern Lantau, development of it into the third new core commercial region of Hong Kong with a population of 400,000-700,000 was recommended by LanDAC.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 07:29 AM   #2000
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Locals angry at plan to 'plunder' lantau
12 January 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Government-commissioned report into island's future includes plans for a spa resort at Cheung Sha Beach and opening a water park in Mui Wo

An ambitious plan to transform Lantau Island into a new tourism and recreation hub met heavy scepticism from community activists in the city yesterday.

The plan, which includes the development of 14 recreational and tourism areas in Hong Kong's "backyard", was unveiled on Sunday in a report by the Lantau Development Advisory Committee, a government-appointed group which spent two years working out its vision for the island in years to come until 2030.

"The report merely proposes using Hongkongers' land resources to build facilities for mainland tourists such as a theme park and a water park,"said Eddie Tse Sai-kit of the Save Lantau Alliance, a coalition of five community concern groups formed in 2014. The group had already garnered over 3,000 likes on Facebook as of last night.

Tse said the suggestions in the 33-page report, which included opening a spa resort at Cheung Sha Beach in south Lantau and turning Mui Wo into a water park, amounted to a "plunder of Hongkongers' invaluable natural resources" on Lantau.

"[Lantau's] original planning aim was to give Hongkongers a place to go on holiday to get some quiet time," he added.

Despite the immediate backlash from concern groups, a member of the advisory committee came out to defend the report.

Lau Ping-cheung, one of the 20 non-official members of the committee, said on radio yesterday Lantau Island had enough space to accommodate the proposed developments, which he said were relatively small in scale and would not pose much of a threat to conservation.

"Kowloon South and Hong Kong Island combined are about 126 square kilometres and house half of the city's population," said Lau, who is also a founder and chairman of the Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services.

"Lantau is 147 square kilometres and some 100,000-plus people live there," he said. "So there's actually quite a bit of space."

Meanwhile, two major business operators on the island gave no specific replies yesterday on whether they would support the proposed development, which the advisory committee said would greatly boost tourism and create jobs.

"Hong Kong Disneyland Resort notes with interest the release of the report," said a spokeswoman for the resort.

A spokeswoman for cable car operator Ngong Ping 360 also made no comments on the report's suggestion to extend the route to the fishing village of Tai O.

In September last year, Stella Kwan Mun-yee, managing director of Ngong Ping 360, had expressed concerns of overcrowding in Tai O.

News of the plan also did not excite Cinderella Chiu Sin-ting, a project officer of the Tung Chung Community Development Alliance, an advocacy group for people living in the area.

"The facilities proposed don't fit the residents' needs,"said Chiu.

She said she doubted whether the new facilities would benefit the 80,000 people living in Tung Chung, adding that 70 per cent of those people have to commute out of the area for work.

Chiu said the group had been calling for more playgrounds, markets and start-up spaces in the area - near Hong Kong International Airport - but she could not find them in the report.
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