September 26, 2018
Land supply views submitted
The Task Force on Land Supply recently submitted the preliminary observations from its public engagement exercise to the Chief Executive, to facilitate formulation of a proper response to address the public aspirations in the Policy Address to be delivered in October.
In his letter to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, task force Chairman Stanley Wong noted the community generally understands and recognises the acute land shortage problem that Hong Kong is facing. People generally agree that a multi-pronged approach, encompassing a package of land supply measures that meet the city's development needs in the short, medium and long term, is necessary.
Developing more New Territories brownfield sites as a land supply option is generally supported by society and different sectors. The community generally agrees that the development potential of private agricultural land should be unleashed, but there are diverging views on how this should be done.
The task force said the government should put forward a fair, open and transparent regime for public-private partnership. On whether the sites under private recreational leases should be used, discussions in the community mainly focus on the Fanling Golf Course site and the views are rather polarised.
There are grassroots and industrial, commercial and professional sector representatives who support reactivating reclamation projects to create land. Meanwhile, green groups and the agricultural and fisheries sectors are concerned about the adverse impact on the ecology and fish catches that might be brought by reclamation works.
Some in the community consider that country parks are land-extensive and society should keep an open mind to exploring the feasibility of developing part of the country park periphery. On the other hand, some groups and individuals believe country parks are invaluable natural assets and they are worried that once a precedent is set, development in other parts of country parks may follow, causing irreversible damage to the environment.
The task force will submit the detailed recommendation report to the government on the overall land supply strategy by the end of this year.
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