330 hectares of land for 316,000 public flats in 10 years identified

Top News | Michael Shum 26 Nov 2020

All 330 hectares of land required for providing more than 300,000 public housing units in the next 10 years have been identified, Carrie Lam said

For the long run, the government has identified 90 hectares of land in the northern New Territories for building both public and private housing estates -- equivalent to four Taikoo Shings. Residents will be served by three MTR stations along the new Northern Link - San Tin, Ngau Tam Mei and Au Tau.

"We have identified all of the 330 hectares of land required for providing 316,000 public housing units to meet the target demand in the coming 10 years," Lam said.

This marks the first time the government has been able to achieve the target, which is reviewed once a year under the Long-Term Housing Strategy, for the next 10 years.

The land supply will mainly come from reclamation in Tung Chung, agricultural land and brownfield sites in new development areas such as Kwu Tung North and Fanling North, as well as Hung Shui Kiu and Ha Tsuen.

The Fanling Golf Course will also be partially developed. Sources added that the government will take back 32 hectares of the golf course in 2023. Construction is expected to be complete by 2029, providing 9,000 public housing flats.

Another 20,000 flats can be developed at MTR's Siu Ho Wan depot atop the development.

Government sources said half of the 20,000 flats will be subsidized housing, and the other half will be private. Construction is expected to be complete in 2030.

Sources said as a result of the third runway allowing a change in flight paths, the predicted number of flats to be provided is expected to rise from 14,000 to 20,000.

In the mid to long run, 70,000 flats can be completed by 2034 on 90 hectares of land along the Northern Link railway - a line with three new stations connecting Kam Sheung Road station on the West Rail Line and a new Kwu Tung station on the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line.

To further increase land supply in the distant future, Lam said there should be no more delay in pushing the Lantau Tomorrow Vision megaplan.

The project is meant to meet people's needs, she said.

"If young people hope to buy a flat when they turn 40, there must be enough land to do so," Lam said.

"I want to emphasize that the plan will not worsen public finance and it is a project that is worth investing in.

"Every surveyor will tell you this project is worth doing."

Government sources said the funding request for its preliminary study will be scrutinized in the Legislative Council's finance committee on Friday.

The Lantau project is now the first item on the committee's agenda after the government withdrew all proposals before it. Once the funding is approved, the study will take 42 months.

Sources said the funding model of the development plan will be decided after the study, but the government is keeping its options open - including public private partnership.

Reclamation is expected to start in 2026, and construction of the first development is expected to finish in 2033.

michael.shum@singtaonewscorp.com



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