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Government invites Housing Society to study ecological value and development potential of sites on periphery of country parks
     The Government today (May 17) announced that it has invited the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) to undertake at its own costs technical and ecological studies to look into the ecological value, landscape and aesthetic value, recreational potential, development potential and practical constraints of two areas in Tai Lam and Shui Chuen O which fall within or lie close to Tai Lam Country Park and Ma On Shan Country Park respectively.

     A Government spokesman said that in paragraph 117 of the 2017 Policy Address, the Chief Executive stated, "I consider that ... we should also consider allocating a small proportion of land on the periphery of country parks with relatively low ecological and public enjoyment value for purposes other than real estate development, such as public housing and non-profit-making elderly homes."

     The spokesman said, "The purpose of these studies is to provide objective analyses and enable rational deliberations by the community. The Government stands ready to provide to the HKHS relevant technical data and other information, and such assistance should not be taken as pre-empting or prejudicing in any way the applicable statutory processes, including relevant statutory provisions under the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208), the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131) and the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499) as well as decisions of the relevant statutory authorities."

     The spokesman added, "If the Government decides to proceed with the development of these sites, the possible role and involvement of the HKHS, being the Government's close partner in the provision of affordable housing and elderly housing, would be subject to further discussion between the Government and the HKHS as well as the applicable statutory and administrative procedures and requirements."
Ends/Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:15
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