Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning and Lands, Mr John C Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (June 19):
It has been almost 20 years since the Government proposed to redevelop Kwun Tong Town Centre, but so far the project has not yet been implemented. The district is in a dilapidated state and residents there are yearning for early implementation of the redevelopment project. The Urban Renewal Authority ("URA"), which is responsible for the redevelopment project, is now carrying out the relevant land use planning. It is learnt that the redevelopment project may be delayed as the Government has requested URA to provide schools, civic centres and public transport interchanges etc on the land concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the type of buildings and ancillary facilities (such as transport and sitting-out facilities) to be provided on the land of the redevelopment project;
(b) whether it has reviewed the appropriateness of providing schools in the area of the town centre; if it has, of the conclusion;
(c) whether the above planning work has been delayed by the need to identify suitable locations for building schools or by other factors; if so, of the reasons; and
(d) whether it has specific measures for expediting the above planning work; if not, of the reasons for that?
Apart from redeveloping dilapidated buildings in older urban areas, an important objective of urban renewal is to provide community facilities that are inadequate or absent in such areas at present. The planning guidelines in the Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) contain not only the concept plans of the nine urban renewal target areas but also the detailed plans and planning parameters of the 225 redevelopment projects. The planning parameters set out in detail the community facilities to be provided in each project. According to the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) shall follow the guidelines in the URS when implementing individual redevelopment projects.
(a) The Kwun Tong Town Centre redevelopment project covers an area of about five hectares, of which around 70 per cent is Government land. We expect that the future development of the town centre will be mainly for residential and commercial purposes. In order to improve the local environment and traffic conditions, the initial plan is to provide much-needed open space and a well-designed transport interchange with appropriate pedestrian facilities in the town centre. To cater for the growing population and to better serve the residents, we also plan to provide more community and welfare facilities, including schools, markets, refuse collection points, cultural and recreational facilities, residential and nursing homes for the elderly. These facilities are essential to any community.
(b) The Kwun Tong Town Centre will be a large comprehensive redevelopment area. Having regard to the future population distribution and the existing facilities, a secondary school or post-secondary college has been included in the planned facilities. The provision of these educational facilities is appropriate for the overall development in future.
(c) In formulating a detailed development plan, the URA is conducting detailed studies regarding the Kwun Tong Town Centre project with respect to the transport arrangements, land use planning and financial arrangements. Relevant Government departments are actively assisting the URA in the matter. We hope that the URA will complete the first stage of the studies and the planning work in the near future.
(d) We will continue to encourage the URA to expedite the various planning studies regarding the Kwun Tong Town Centre redevelopment project. The Government departments concerned will render the necessary assistance in the process.
End/Wednesday, June 19, 2002