LCQ21: San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node

     Following is a question by the Hon Holden Chow and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, in the Legislative Council today (May 26):
     The Government commenced a study on the proposed San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node (STLMC DN) in 2019. According to the preliminary projections, STLMC DN, covering a total area of about 320 hectares, can provide about 31 000 residential flats for accommodating around 84 000 residents, and create around 64 000 job opportunities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) as the Government has indicated that the 57-hectare enterprise and technology park in STLMC DN can tie in with the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop, of the positioning of the enterprise and technology park, and how the two parks will create synergy effects;

(2) as the first resident intake of STLMC DN is expected to take place in 2032 but the Northern Link Phase 2 is not expected to be completed until 2034, whether the Government will consider expediting the progress of the railway project, so as to meet the public transport service demand of the first batch of residents who will move into STLMC DN; and
(3) whether it has plans to reserve land in the enterprise and technology park for industrial use, as well as attract, through tenancy incentives, local manufacturers of traditional industries to upgrade their production lines and relocate them to the park, so as to promote re-industrialisation in Hong Kong?
     San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node (STLMC DN) is part of the New Territories North (NTN) development. The Government commenced the feasibility study of the STLMC DN in 2019 and has formulated the initial land use proposals. At present, the Government is seeking funding approval from the Legislative Council (LegCo) for studies relating to the NTN development; and strive to secure the approval in the current legislative session and then proceed to the investigation study and detailed design for the works of the STLMC DN with a view to commencing the construction works in 2025.
     After consulting the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB), the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) and other relevant departments, I reply to the various parts of the question as follows:
(1) and (3) To capitalise on the locational advantages of the STLMC DN, i.e. its proximity to boundary crossing with easy accessibility to Futian, Shenzhen and the surrounding areas and its location being around one kilometre west to the Lok Ma Chau Loop (the Loop), we have proposed to earmark about 57 hectares of land in the northern part of the STLMC DN for the uses of Enterprise and Technology Park, which are intended to complement with the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) in the Loop for achieving synergy.
     The Government is taking forward in full swing the development of the HSITP located in the Loop. Upon its full development, the HSITP will provide a gross floor area of 1.2 million square metres and become Hong Kong's largest-ever innovation and technology (I&T) platform. The vision of the HSITP is to become a world-class knowledge hub and I&T centre, converging technology enterprises, research and development (R&D) institutions and higher education institutions from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas, which can connect upstream and midstream research to downstream market, further enhancing the collaboration among the industry, academic and research sectors. High value-adding processes including R&D, prototyping, product design and testing can be conducted at the HSITP. The funding required to commence Batch 1 development of the HSITP was approved by the LegCo's Finance Committee in February this year. Currently, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park Limited is focusing on the relevant construction works in order to complete all eight buildings of Batch 1 development in phases from 2024 to 2027.
     In view of the increasing demand for land from the R&D sector and new industries in Hong Kong, the Government will continue to be proactive in providing land required for development in the short, medium and long terms. Regarding the proposed 57-hectare site in the STLMC DN, it is preliminarily intended for the I&T industries and related uses, at the same time complementing or supporting the HSITP development at the Loop. Details of the land development plan and uses are to be discussed and finalised with the ITB in the subsequent investigation study. The Government will consult the relevant LegCo panels on the future planning and positioning of the site in due course. As for the promotion of re-industrialisation, the ITB will continue to proactively support the industrial sector in terms of capital, talent, infrastructure, technology and R&D to foster industries that are based on new technologies and smart production.
(2) In December 2020, the THB invited the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) to conduct the detailed planning and design of the Northern Link (NOL). Considering the time required for the detailed planning and design of the project, the construction of the NOL Phase 2 (i.e. the main line connecting Kam Sheung Road Station and Kwu Tung Station) is expected to commence in 2025 for completion in 2034. It will provide impetus for development in San Tin, Ngau Tam Mei, Au Tau and their surrounding areas. According to the current planning for the STLMC DN, the first batch of population involving approximately 3 000 residents will move to the area between 2032 and the completion of the NOL, representing around 4 per cent of the new population (approximately 84 000 residents) in the STLMC DN upon its full development. The major population intake will commence from 2034 onwards, which will be in line with the target commissioning date of the NOL Phase 2. Before the completion of the NOL, the relevant departments will coordinate with public transport operators to provide adequate public transport services to meet the transport needs of the first population intake. The Government will continue to follow up with the MTRCL to ensure its close monitoring of the works progress, with a view to completing the project for providing services as soon as possible.

Ends/Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Issued at HKT 15:50