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CUHK chief makes stand on land plan

Staff Reporter

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chinese University of Hong Kong vice chancellor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu is calling for action over the proposed reclamation off Ma Liu Shui.

His call comes days after development chief Paul Chan Mo-po began a three-month public consultation on reclamation of five sites, including that near the university in Sha Tin, which altogether could provide 600 hectares of land.

Sung said he still has not received any government information on Ma Liu Shui but believes any reclamation should consider the nearby environment not just the needs of the SAR.

He said the reclamation should not adversely affect the development of the university but actively assist it.

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Sung will arrange consultations within the university once the government provides more detail on the proposal.

Writing on the Development Bureau website, Chan said every land supply measure faces challenges. For instance, the rezoning of "Government, Institution or Community" sites is limited by the number of sites available.

The revitalization of industrial buildings would depend on the attitude of the owners and developers.

For redevelopment of old districts, unless there is larger scale development, it would not help much in increasing the supply of homes.

For the development of new areas, Chan quoted the example of the northeast New Territories development.

He said there are lots of complex issues to be solved, including land acquisition, farmer rehabilitation and compensation.

Chan said that he understood public concern about reclamation sites.

He said the government will have in-depth studies at three reclamation sites in western waters and invite experts and environmentalists before determining the extent of reclamation.

"I hope we have an open and pragmatic attitude to explore feasible ways together to seek the biggest compromise and balance," Chan said.

Speaking in the City Forum, Director of Civil Engineering and Development Hon Chi-keung said the government needs land reserves.

Hon said reclaimed land is usually bigger with a greater chance of changing its use.


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