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TPB's decision on consideration of representations and comments in respect of the draft Fanling North and Kwu Tung North OZPs

     After thorough deliberation, the Town Planning Board (TPB) has decided today (April 29) to submit the draft Fanling North and Kwu Tung North Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) without amendment to the Chief Executive in Council for approval.

     In arriving at this decision, the TPB has thoroughly deliberated on the need for the two New Development Areas (NDAs), the views and concerns raised in the written and oral submissions by the existing residents, farmers and business operators who will be affected by the projects, as well as those raised by members of the public. The TPB has also thoroughly deliberated on the responses made by the relevant government departments.

     While the TPB has examined in detail a large number of issues which will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, broadly speaking the TPB's decision is based on the overall interest of the community as a whole.

(a) First, the TPB agrees that the development of new towns with comprehensive planning remains an efficient and sustainable way of providing land to meet the development needs of Hong Kong with a decent and quality environment for living and work. Planned as an expansion of Fanling/Sheung Shui New Town, the OZPs have reflected these merits;

(b) Second, the Fanling North and Kwu Tung North NDAs are an important source of housing land supply for Hong Kong in the medium to long term. They will provide about 60,000 flats, of which about 36,600 will be subsidised flats. They will also provide space of about 837,000 square metres for various economic uses including commercial, office, hotel, retail, services and research and development, and will provide about 37,700 job opportunities. In light of the acute shortage of land, in particular for housing and economic development, the implementation of the two NDAs is important to the overall public interests of Hong Kong;

(c) Third, by providing land for housing and employment uses as well as recreation, community and infrastructure facilities while preserving a significant portion of land for open space, agricultural and nature conservation purposes (about 300 hectares), the NDAs as in the draft OZPs have duly balanced the different needs of Hong Kong in making reasonable use of our scarce land resources; and

(d) Fourth, various technical assessments have been undertaken to confirm the technical feasibility of the development of the two NDAs. With the undertaking of the recommended mitigation measures, the development of the NDAs will not cause unacceptable adverse impacts on the environment and traffic.

     In endorsing the two draft OZPs, the TPB clearly understands and appreciates the various concerns of the stakeholders affected by the development of the NDAs. In implementing the NDAs, the TPB strongly urges the Government to properly address their concerns and needs. In particular, the TPB urges the Government to enhance liaison with the affected residents, farmers and business operators and provide the best and timely assistance it can to them. Other than the existing residents, these should include those staying in the elderly homes at Dills Corner, as well as the existing farmers and business operators. The Government should enhance the way in which it disseminates to them relevant information on the implementation details, such as the clearance and rehousing/compensation arrangements and rehabilitation arrangements for farmers.

     The TPB also urges the Government to ensure the timely provision of major transport facilities, such as the necessary road improvement works and Kwu Tung Station, to serve the NDA development. In the detailed urban design of the NDAs, the TPB urges the Government to be more innovative in integrating the existing rural character with the new town development.

     The TPB will prepare a submission to the Government setting out its above views in detail, and will make public such views when they are ready.

     The TPB has received and considered a total of some 53,000 representations and comments in respect of the Fanling North and Kwu Tung North OZPs. The TPB has used 45 days to listen to the oral submissions since October 2014.

Ends/Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:20


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