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Public engagement exercise for Lantau development launched (with photos)
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     The public engagement exercise for Lantau development was launched today (January 31) to gauge public views on Lantau development proposals for formulating a blueprint with a view to developing Lantau into a smart and low-carbon community for living, work, business, leisure and study while balancing and enhancing development and conservation.

     The Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC) has proposed preliminary development strategies for the Government's consideration, taking into account Lantau's long-term development potential, changes taking place in the surrounding areas, and the needs and expectations of society. The proposals cover spatial planning and land use, conservation, strategic traffic and transport infrastructure, recreation and tourism, as well as social development.

     Officiating at the launching ceremony of the public engagement exercise, the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, said, "LanDAC has submitted its first work report on Lantau development to the Chief Executive early this month and proposed a set of visionary preliminary development strategies that could address Hong Kong's long-term needs while balancing conservation and development. These proposals are meant for the sustainable development of Hong Kong and would create space and opportunities for all people and sectors in Hong Kong. We thus themed the report as 'Space for All'."

     On spatial planning and land use, LanDAC proposed that the North Lantau Corridor should be mainly for strategic economic and housing development. Key projects include the Tung Chung New Town Extension, topside development at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, and Siu Ho Wan Development. It also suggested to integrate the Sunny Bay Reclamation and north-eastern Lantau as a converging point for leisure, entertainment and tourism, and to study developing the East Lantau Metropolis as a core business district and a long-term strategic growth area that could accommodate a population of about 400 000 to 700 000. The predominant part of Lantau is recommended to be used for conservation, leisure, cultural and green tourism. It also suggested optimising the use of government land and cavern development to release land for residential, recreational or other uses and relieve the pressure of developing new land.

     To strike a balance between conservation and development, LanDAC suggested strengthening the preservation of heritage sites and areas with local characteristics, and better utilising natural resources such as country and marine parks. It also considered shaping Lantau into "a kaleidoscopic recreation and tourism destination", with 14 recreation and tourism areas developed under five themes and connected with experiential transport.

     LanDAC considered that traffic and transport infrastructure is crucial for taking forward Lantau development and should be given priority. It suggested the Government to conduct an overall traffic and transport study for Lantau. The initial concept is to connect major growth areas in Lantau with the urban areas and the Northwest New Territories by railway and road networks to cater for Lantau's long-term development. In the short and medium term, traffic facilities and public transport arrangements would be enhanced. It also suggested enhancing existing community facilities, improving the design of new community facilities and diversifying education services to attract talent. Meanwhile, suitable internal and external transport connections should be provided to meet the needs of future development, and the needs of rural and remote areas in Lantau should be addressed.

     Mr Chan said that LanDAC plans to publish a blueprint for Lantau development and the timetable of implementation of the work after consolidating information and opinions from various sectors in the second half of 2016.

     The public engagement exercise will last for three months and feature roving exhibitions, briefing sessions and public forums. Details and a digest are available at LanDAC's website (www.LanDAC.hk). Members of the public can express their views by email ([email protected]), by fax (2801 5620) or by writing to LanDAC's Secretariat (17/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar) on or before April 30.

     The ceremony to launch the public engagement exercise for Lantau development also saw the official opening of Mui Wo Children's Playground. The Government introduced improvement works under the Mui Wo Facelift, Phase 1 Works scheme in 2014 to improve the north waterfront promenade and civic square, and provide better recreational facilities, to tie in with the development of Mui Wo. The construction of Mui Wo Children's Playground was one of the projects.

Ends/Sunday, January 31, 2016
Issued at HKT 13:47

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