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LCQ10: Construction of the Shatin to Central Link depot at Diamond Hill

    Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (April 9):


    It is noted that both the Government and the MTR Corporation Limited are inclined to construct the Shatin to Central Link depot at the former Tai Hom Village site at Diamond Hill by adopting a "semi-depressed" design. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  whether the depot planned for construction will occupy the entire piece of land of 7.1 hectares at the former Tai Hom Village site; if so, of the reasons for that; if not, the area required for the depot and the development of the remaining land;

(b)  given that the authorities have indicated that it will conduct an assessment on the impact of the depot construction plan on the graded historic buildings (including the Old Pillbox, the Former Royal Airforce Hangar and the Stone House) at the former Tai Hom Village site, whether the assessment will be premised on preserving such historic buildings in-suit, and whether an introduction of the former Tai Hom Village will be included in the development plan of the site to enable the public to know about its history; and

(c)  whether the authorities will consider developing properties above the proposed depot, and whether it will consult residents in the neighborhood before drafting the relevant planning brief and conduct an air ventilation assessment at the site to ensure that the future development of the depot will not have adverse impact on the community and residents concerned?


Madam President,

    A depot along the alignment of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) is essential to the effective operation of the railway. We have identified the site of the former Tai Hom Village, which is suitable for use as the proposed depot. The topographical conditions at the site will enable a "semi-depressed" design for the depot, which will be only 1.5 to 6m above ground. This design will help mitigate the noise and visual impact of the depot. My reply to the questions is as follows:

(a)  The proposed depot will be used for stabling 18 SCL trains and accommodating maintenance related facilities, such as an inspection track, alight maintenance track, plant rooms and electricity in-feed substations. These facilities cannot be provided in the existing depots and maintenance centre of the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL). The MTRCL is proceeding with the further planning and design of the SCL. The required area of the depot will need to be confirmed during the detailed design stage. The design of the depot will have to bridge environmental impact assessment of the MTRCL.

(b)  We are aware of the historical structures graded by the Antiquities Advisory Board in the site, including the Old Pillbox (Grade II), the Stone House (Grade III) and the Former Royal Airforce Hangar (Grade III). A Heritage Impact Assessment will be conducted on them. We will discuss with the Development Bureau and the Antiquities and Monuments Office the requirements of the Heritage Impact Assessment, and whether and how these structures are to be preserved having regard to technical feasibility and compatibility with the design of the depot. Furthermore, relevant departments will consider if it is desirable to include an introduction of the historical development of ex-Tai Hom Village under the future developments.

(c)  We have been in constant touch with the local community on the use of the former Tai Hom Village site as the SCL depot and related issues. The Planning Department is now preparing a planning brief for the future development of the site for the Town Planning Board's consideration. Currently, it is zoned as a Comprehensive Development Area on the statutory Outline Zoning Plan. Once the Planning Department has prepared the planning brief for the site, the Wong Tai Sin District Council and the local community will be consulted. Air Ventilation Assessment will be carried out by the relevant department in due course to ensure that the proposed developments above the depot will not adversely affect the surrounding environment.

Ends/Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:39


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