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Powerful Hong Kong rural body Heung Yee Kuk slams fellow pro-establishment group for ‘socialist proposal’ to forcibly take back land to ease housing crunch
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Kuk chairman Kenneth Lau, a legislator who also sits in the Hong Kong leader’s cabinet, suggested developing green belt land and country parks
Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong had called on the government to invoke the Lands Resumption Ordinance more often

18 September 2019
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong's rural powerhouse the Heung Yee Kuk is up in arms over a proposal by a fellow pro-establishment group to invoke a draconian law to forcibly take back land from private owners for public housing.

The kuk, a government-recognised body representing the interest of indigenous villagers in the New Territories and widely regarded as a key force in the pro-Beijing camp, slammed the suggestion on Tuesday, saying it went against the spirit of the Basic Law on respecting private property ownership rights.

It warned it would block all government projects in the New Territories if such a proposal was adopted.

Kuk chairman Kenneth Lau Ip-keung, a legislator who also sits in the Hong Kong leader's cabinet, suggested developing green belt land and country parks.

“The government only has itself to blame for the land shortage problem. It is due to its bad planning and red tape. We have a lot of country parks and abandoned rural areas. But the land there is not used,” Lau said.

Hong Kong consistently has the world's least affordable housing market.

Public debate on taking back New Territories sites arose after the city's largest pro-Beijing party - the Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) - called on the government to invoke the Lands Resumption Ordinance more often to boost land supply for public housing.

Under the law, a landlord must surrender a site if it is wanted for a public purpose, such as housing or developing a new town. Once the government eyes a site, there will be consultation with relevant district councils before the land is taken back and cleared.

Affected landowners are paid compensation. Currently, the rate for the best grade farmland - within planned new towns or affected by major projects of “territory-wide significance” - is up to HK$1,348 (US$172) a square foot. But for lower grade sites - those in remote areas - it could be below HK$400 a square foot.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3027743/powerful-hong-kong-rural-body-heung-yee-kuk-slams-fellow-pro
 

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Tung Chung to grow in a big way in 2024
The Standard Excerpt
Nov 4, 2019


Rendering from government press release

Tenants for the first of 50,000 flats being built in Tung Chung can expect to move in by the first quarter of 2024.

That news was passed along by Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun in his blog yesterday in a review of the Tung Chung New Town extension project.

That came with reclamation that started at the end of 2017 making "satisfactory progress, he said.

Wong said the Development Bureau is confident it can hand over the first batch of land to the Housing Department next year for building homes and that reclamation and preparatory work will be completed in 2023.

He quoted Michael Fong Hok-shing, head of the Sustainable Lantau Office, as pointing to the extension project covering the eastern and western flanks of the existing new town.

Fong said the current near-shore reclamation works is at Tung Chung east. But there will not be such work at Tung Chung west, where site formation will be geared largely to conservation.

"The entire Tung Chung New Town extension provides over 50,000 residential flats, including 32,000 public housing units as well as over 800,000 square meters of gross floor area for office use," Fong said. That would mean a new population of over 140,000, Fong added, and "we estimate the first batch of residents can start moving in from the first quarter of 2024."

Sustainable Lantau chief engineer Alfred Wong Kwok-fai said the reclamation in Tung Chung east will create about 130 hectares of land and provide space for 40,000 of the proposed 50,000 residential flats for a population of about 120,000.

More : http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=213176&story_id=50044544&d_str=20191104&sid=4
 

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Hong Kong government considers moving trade terminal to make way for new town
South China Morning Post Excerpt
21 October 2019

Hong Kong’s government is looking at relocating the city’s 65-hectare River Trade Terminal to make way for a major new town in the northwest of the city, the development minister has said.

As one of the land-boosting measures announced in the policy address last Wednesday, a study will be carried out early next year into the development potential of 440 hectares of land along Tuen Mun West to house the proposed residential settlement and a nearby industrial site, subject to funding approval from the Legislative Council.

Under the vision, half of that land would be for the new town and the other half would serve as an alternative site for the container port and other transferred industry.

Explaining the long-term plan on a radio programme on Monday, Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun, believed the coastal area development could be on a similar scale to other new towns established in Hong Kong.

“We hope to relocate the current logistics and industrial businesses to the 220-hectare proposed reclamation land at Lung Kwu Tan, somewhere more remote in northwest Tuen Mun, thus freeing up another 220 hectares from the River Trade Terminal and its surrounding coastal land for residential development,” Wong said.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3033886/hong-kong-government-considers-moving-trade-terminal-make
 

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Wang Chau, Yuen Long
Residents in the villages oppose redevelopment of their homes and the surrounding green belt / brownfields. Proper compensation has not been agreed between the government and the villagers.









 

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New lines drawn in figuring public housing strategy
19 December 2019
The Standard

The target for homes to be built in a 10-year period from 2020-21 has been set at 430,000.

The number comes in the latest Long-Term Housing Strategy and is 20,000 fewer than a rolling target announced a year ago.

The shortfall between public housing supply and demand in the same period will be narrowed to 29,000. But Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan admitted pressure on the public housing system remains intense with 260,000 families and single people queuing for public rental housing.

According to the strategy announced yesterday, the housing demand for the period from 2020-21 to 2029-30 ranges from 399,600 to 446,600.

After taking into consideration the number of vacant flats in the private sector, the total supply target should range from 400,000 to 450,000 units. The mid-point has been rounded up to 430,000 units as the total supply target for the 10-year period from 2020-21 to 2029-30.

The supply target had been 450,000 units for the 10 years from 2019-20 to 2028-29.

A report on the housing strategy noted: "This is mainly owing to a reduction in the net increase in the number of households, which is independently assessed by the Census and Statistics Department based on its latest domestic household projections, and a reduction in vacancy adjustment in private housing having regard to Rating and Valuation Department data."

The public and private split of new housing supply was changed in 2018 from 60:40 to 70:30. So the public housing supply target now is for 301,000 units, with the private housing supply target at 129,000 units.

Among public flats, 210,000 units will be for public rental housing and the "green form" subsidized Home Ownership Scheme. Another 91,000 will be other subsidized flats for sale.

The estimated public housing production for the period will be 272,000 units, which is 24,000 units more than the 2018 estimation.

While it still falls short of the public housing supply target by 29,000 units, the shortfall has been narrowed down from the 2018 projected shortfall, which was 67,000.

Chan dismissed claims that the government was playing with figures to narrow the shortfall. He said there was a fall in the projected increase in the number of households, which reduced housing demand. The government also managed to find more land for development, he said.

"The increase in the estimated public housing production is mainly because of measures like reclamation such as the Tung Chung New Town extension, development of new areas such as Kwu Tung North and Fan Ling North, and rezoning of existing land," the report explained.
 

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Land in Kwu Tung, Fanling first to go
The Standard Excerpt
Sept 27, 2019

The Lands Department has put up notices in Kwu Tung North and Fanling North, marking the start of the land resumption process for new developments.

The move is the first phase of development plans in the Northeast New Territories, including advance and first stage work in site formation for a new town development and building the Fanling bypass.

This comes after Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun was quoted as saying he supported resuming more land via the Lands Resumption Ordinance, according to the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

The party also called on the government to seize private developers' land for public housing.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is expected to announce further details in her policy address next month.

The government said it will resume 784 private land plots amounting to about 68 hectares as well as nine land plots occupied by graves totaling 752.8 square meters in the first phase of development.

The plots will be resumed on December 27, three months after the government notices were put up.

The date is not the deadline for households and business owners to move out, the government added. That should be some time between the first half of next year to the second half of 2022.

Compensation will be given to affected property owners.

More : http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=212107&sid=11
 

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Hong Kong’s Tung Chung and Tuen Mun set for population surge by 2026, but are they ready?
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Jan 5, 2020

A sizeable chunk of Hong Kong’s population will shift away from traditional urban areas to two new towns in the more remote northwestern part of the city by 2026, according to a Post review of latest official statistics.

Projections by the Planning Department show that Tung Chung’s population will surge by 70 per cent to more than 173,000 in that time, while that of Tuen Mun will see a 15 per cent jump.

Two other areas registering high projected growth were Tai Po and Kwun Tong – both by 14 per cent.

City planners and lawmakers, however, criticised the government for doing too little to address transport and employment needs in such areas to brace for the population boom.

Tung Chung on Lantau Island was only developed as a new town in the 1990s, after an international airport was planned at Chek Lap Kok.

Reclamation has continued since then, for both private and public housing, with the latest project aiming for an extension of 130 hectares to yield 40,800 flats in the first phase by 2024.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3044691/hong-kongs-tung-chung-and-tuen-mun-set-population-surge-2026
 

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Tung Chung to grow in a big way in 2024
The Standard Excerpt
Nov 4, 2019


Rendering from government press release

Tenants for the first of 50,000 flats being built in Tung Chung can expect to move in by the first quarter of 2024.

That news was passed along by Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun in his blog yesterday in a review of the Tung Chung New Town extension project.

That came with reclamation that started at the end of 2017 making "satisfactory progress, he said.

Wong said the Development Bureau is confident it can hand over the first batch of land to the Housing Department next year for building homes and that reclamation and preparatory work will be completed in 2023.

He quoted Michael Fong Hok-shing, head of the Sustainable Lantau Office, as pointing to the extension project covering the eastern and western flanks of the existing new town.

Fong said the current near-shore reclamation works is at Tung Chung east. But there will not be such work at Tung Chung west, where site formation will be geared largely to conservation.

"The entire Tung Chung New Town extension provides over 50,000 residential flats, including 32,000 public housing units as well as over 800,000 square meters of gross floor area for office use," Fong said. That would mean a new population of over 140,000, Fong added, and "we estimate the first batch of residents can start moving in from the first quarter of 2024."

Sustainable Lantau chief engineer Alfred Wong Kwok-fai said the reclamation in Tung Chung east will create about 130 hectares of land and provide space for 40,000 of the proposed 50,000 residential flats for a population of about 120,000.

More : http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=213176&story_id=50044544&d_str=20191104&sid=4
The March 5 episode of this TVB property development program mentioned about Tung Chung's eastern reclamation, which is slated for completion in 2024. 10,000 public housing units are under construction.
 

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Lawmakers question unusual drop in development cost of controversial Wang Chau public housing project in Hong Kong
Mar 13, 2020
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A fresh round of controversy has surfaced over the Wang Chau public housing project in Hong Kong, with lawmakers questioning an unusual drop in development cost from HK$2.39 billion (US$307.3 million) to HK$1.8 billion, even as the legislature approved funding.

At the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee meeting on Friday, some pan-democrats raised concerns over the change in estimated cost and whether this reflected a systemic flaw in evaluation, as well as a loss of income for workers.

In land-starved Hong Kong, cost overruns are common problems in construction projects, with keen competition for labour and resources driving up prices.

The Wang Chau housing project previously drew heavy public criticism, with the government accused of bowing to pressure from rural landlords and using a green belt zone for development instead of a nearby brownfield, an environmentally damaged agricultural area.

At least 180 households – or some 400 people – living in three villages on the green belt were evicted in 2018. The residents were non-indigenous, meaning they had no traditional rights protected by law.

More : New controversy over Wang Chau housing project with reduced tender
 

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Tung Chung Line extension to cost HK$19bn: govt
RTHK Excerpt
Apr 7, 2020


Image posted on 香港經濟日報

The government has estimated that the construction cost of the MTR's Tung Chung Line extension will be almost HK$19 billion.

The HK$18.7 billion price tag, based on December 2016 prices, will be used to build two new stations on the existing Tung Chung Line and reclaim about 130 hectares of land to provide housing.

One of the new stations, Tung Chung East, will be located between Sunny Bay and Tung Chung stations, while the other, Tung Chung West, will be on a 1.3-kilometre track extending from the current terminus at Tung Chung.

Construction of the stations are expected to begin in 2023 and take six years.

In a paper to Legco, the government said the project is one of the important, medium-to-long term sources of land supply to meet Hong Kong's economic, social and housing needs.

Starting from 2024, the first batch of 31,000 public housing residents are expected to move in to the new homes – with the goal of accommodating 126,000 people when the entire project is completed in 2029.

More : Tung Chung Line extension to cost HK$19bn: govt - RTHK
 

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Tung Chung to grow in a big way in 2024
The Standard Excerpt
Nov 4, 2019


Rendering from government press release

Tenants for the first of 50,000 flats being built in Tung Chung can expect to move in by the first quarter of 2024.

That news was passed along by Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun in his blog yesterday in a review of the Tung Chung New Town extension project.

That came with reclamation that started at the end of 2017 making "satisfactory progress, he said.

Wong said the Development Bureau is confident it can hand over the first batch of land to the Housing Department next year for building homes and that reclamation and preparatory work will be completed in 2023.

He quoted Michael Fong Hok-shing, head of the Sustainable Lantau Office, as pointing to the extension project covering the eastern and western flanks of the existing new town.

Fong said the current near-shore reclamation works is at Tung Chung east. But there will not be such work at Tung Chung west, where site formation will be geared largely to conservation.

"The entire Tung Chung New Town extension provides over 50,000 residential flats, including 32,000 public housing units as well as over 800,000 square meters of gross floor area for office use," Fong said. That would mean a new population of over 140,000, Fong added, and "we estimate the first batch of residents can start moving in from the first quarter of 2024."

Sustainable Lantau chief engineer Alfred Wong Kwok-fai said the reclamation in Tung Chung east will create about 130 hectares of land and provide space for 40,000 of the proposed 50,000 residential flats for a population of about 120,000.

More : Tung Chung to grow in a big way in 2024
3373-17 by redefined0307, on Flickr
 

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明日大嶼研究撥款不樂觀 龍鼓灘填海擬直上財會
明報 Excerpt
2020年4月14日星期二



為增加土地供應,政府近年推展「明日大嶼」及其他近岸填海計劃,但明日大嶼掀起民間強烈反對。有傳媒昨報道,政府對於能在今屆立法會會期內通過明日大嶼前期研究撥款不感樂觀,擬將仍處於立法會工務小組階段、阻力較小的屯門龍鼓灘填海工程,先提交予財委會申請研究撥款,並爭取在今屆會期內通過。

立法會工務小組主席盧偉國昨稱,小組暫未接獲政府通知抽走龍鼓灘填海議程,但他認為在面臨土地不足下,政府將龍鼓灘填海議程「直上財會」亦無可奈何。他稱,受疫情影響,工務小組取消多次會議,目前暫定本月29日再次開會,但當日會議需處理沙中線工程追加撥款等事宜,而且之後亦有其他議程(見表),相信今屆工務小組能成功討論龍鼓灘填海議程「的確較困難」。

盧偉國認為,目前土地供應不足下,明日大嶼及龍鼓灘填海亦應同時啟動,若未能在今屆會期內批出撥款做前期研究,只會造成惡性循環,令土地不足引起的社會問題持續浮現,「無理由連研究都不批准撥款」。

發展局今年1月向立法會提交文件,初步建議在屯門龍鼓灘填海約220至250公頃作工業用途,並重新規劃位於屯門西、佔地65公頃的內河碼頭用地作住宅用途,並向立法會財委會申請1.79億元以做「龍鼓灘填海和重新規劃屯門西地區的規劃及工程研究」,當局估計若獲財委會批准撥款,可於下半年展開研究,預計30個月內完成。

Synopsis : With strong opposition to the Lantau Tomorrow reclamation plan, there is an expectation that the preliminary research funding will not be approved at the Legislative Council tomorrow. It is believed reclamation at Lung Kwu Tan (in Tuen Mun) will be pushed ahead instead. The suggestion is to reclaim 220-250 hectares for industrial use, the 65-hectare river trade port terminal can be converted into residential use.
 

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Tung Chung Line extension to cost HK$19bn: govt
RTHK Excerpt
Apr 7, 2020


Image posted on 香港經濟日報

The government has estimated that the construction cost of the MTR's Tung Chung Line extension will be almost HK$19 billion.

The HK$18.7 billion price tag, based on December 2016 prices, will be used to build two new stations on the existing Tung Chung Line and reclaim about 130 hectares of land to provide housing.

One of the new stations, Tung Chung East, will be located between Sunny Bay and Tung Chung stations, while the other, Tung Chung West, will be on a 1.3-kilometre track extending from the current terminus at Tung Chung.

Construction of the stations are expected to begin in 2023 and take six years.

In a paper to Legco, the government said the project is one of the important, medium-to-long term sources of land supply to meet Hong Kong's economic, social and housing needs.

Starting from 2024, the first batch of 31,000 public housing residents are expected to move in to the new homes – with the goal of accommodating 126,000 people when the entire project is completed in 2029.

More : Tung Chung Line extension to cost HK$19bn: govt - RTHK
Lawmakers grill govt over Tung Chung Line cost
RTHK Excerpt
May 5, 2020

Lawmakers on Legco's railways subcommittee on Tuesday took turns to slam the government over the HK$18.9 billion bill for the Tung Chung Line extension, pointing out that the current estimate is three times the one made in the Railway Development Strategy 2014.

Under the plan, two new stations will be built to the east and west of the current Lantau Island terminus.

The tunnels for the line and the Airport Express at Hong Kong Station will also be extended for quicker train turnaround in the future. The six-year long construction is expected to begin in 2023.

At a meeting of the railways subcommittee, lawmakers said the project is too expensive and will only be finished years after people move into the public housing estates that are coming up in the area.

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan said the high cost of the 1.3-kilometre extension makes it more expensive than other current railway projects in Asia and Europe.

More : Lawmakers grill govt over Tung Chung Line cost - RTHK
 

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Tung Chung to grow in a big way in 2024
The Standard Excerpt
Nov 4, 2019


Rendering from government press release

Tenants for the first of 50,000 flats being built in Tung Chung can expect to move in by the first quarter of 2024.

That news was passed along by Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun in his blog yesterday in a review of the Tung Chung New Town extension project.

That came with reclamation that started at the end of 2017 making "satisfactory progress, he said.

Wong said the Development Bureau is confident it can hand over the first batch of land to the Housing Department next year for building homes and that reclamation and preparatory work will be completed in 2023.

He quoted Michael Fong Hok-shing, head of the Sustainable Lantau Office, as pointing to the extension project covering the eastern and western flanks of the existing new town.

Fong said the current near-shore reclamation works is at Tung Chung east. But there will not be such work at Tung Chung west, where site formation will be geared largely to conservation.

"The entire Tung Chung New Town extension provides over 50,000 residential flats, including 32,000 public housing units as well as over 800,000 square meters of gross floor area for office use," Fong said. That would mean a new population of over 140,000, Fong added, and "we estimate the first batch of residents can start moving in from the first quarter of 2024."

Sustainable Lantau chief engineer Alfred Wong Kwok-fai said the reclamation in Tung Chung east will create about 130 hectares of land and provide space for 40,000 of the proposed 50,000 residential flats for a population of about 120,000.

More : Tung Chung to grow in a big way in 2024
 
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