Hung Shui Kiu NDA Planning and Engineering Study Planning and Engineering Study - Stage 2 Public Engagement (Nov 2013)
The proposed Hung Shui Kui New Development Area (NDA) is supported in principle as it will help to meet our long-term housing and development needs. We suggest that the Administration should pay due regard to the issues detailed below in planning the NDA.
Different stakeholders will have different views on the NDA proposals. A more thorough and robust assessment on the socio-economic characteristics and expectations of different stakeholders is required in order to identify viable measures in meeting their diverse needs in the planning and development of NDA. The Government should also try to work out some "out-of-the-box" solutions that can address the concerns of different stakeholders. Should the Government not resolve these policy issues, the public engagement during the planning study could not help to solve the conflicts and build up consensus.
It is noted that 4 guiding principles, namely enhancing the strategic role of HSK, building a people-oriented community, creating a green living and working environment and integrating with development of Tuen Mun, Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long, were adopted in the preparation of the PODP. It is suggested the Government should consider the following issues to better achieve the said guiding principles:
Industrial Demand & Employment Opportunities
- While creating a balanced community through a mix of housing and employment use is one of the objectives of the PODP, past experiences in the development of our earlier generation new towns have proven that the traditional balanced community with its population matching with employment opportunities is mythical rather than real.
- Hung Shui Kiu is located at a strategic location, with well-planned infrastructures including a proposed railway station along the existing West Rail, Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and Tuen Mun Western Bypass, and also direct access to Shenzhen Bay Bridge. It will have fast and convenient connection to the airport and the Mainland with good potential for logistics and other special industry uses (i.e. technology and telecommunications industries including data centre uses, testing and certification facilities and business uses). By just reserving 72 ha. of land for such uses would not result in development of these uses and generate 100,000 new employment opportunities as claimed). A more coherent and coordinated strategy in attracting investment and creating employment opportunities for such uses is required.
- While the intention of rationalizing/optimizing the existing open storage/port back-up uses to make more economic use of the limited land resources is supported, there is a lack of details on how such intention can be achieved. There are over 190 ha. (about 23%) of land within the NDA being used as Port Back-up (PBU) and Open Storage (OS) uses. It is not sure how the existing operators would be relocated to the proposed Special Industry Area and whether any special arrangements would be made for the trade. The Government may consider conducting an assessment to ascertain the impact to the trade and to suggest innovative proposals and policies in terms of financial and other assistance to mitigate the impact.
- The NDA will make use of the existing West Rail as the backbone of mass public transport including the West Rail Tin Shui Wai Station in the east, the proposed Hung Shui Kiu Station in the future town centre and the existing Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations running along Castle Peak Road at the southern side. Consideration should be given to provide sufficient feeder services to serve areas that are not within the walking distance to the rail stations. In particular, appropriate transit systems (either rail-based and/or environmental friendly road-based transportations) should be provided to better serve the northern part of the NDA (including the proposed HOS and PRH development in DCA 2 and Special Industry in DCA 3) with a view to strengthen the linkage and integration with Tin Shui Wai.
Creation of Green Living and Working Environment
- The proposed Carbon Reduction Strategies, such as environmental-friendly transport network, promotion of green buildings and environmentally friendly technologies, sustainable waste and water management and use of renewable energy are supported. There should be sufficient incentives to entice participation from both the private sector and the community at large to help achieving this objective.
- As more than 100 ha. of farmland will be affected. Although not all farmlands are under active cultivation, consideration should be given to minimize any adverse implications to the existing farming activities. Consideration can be given to provide assistance in the form creating a ‘green’ urban fringe combining opportunities for urban farming, market gardening, and/or other leisure and recreational facilities.
- The proposal of preserving and linking up different heritage resources within the NDA is supported. However, since the heritage resources are scattered over in the NDA and some of them are not accessible within walking distance between the spots identified in the heritage trail, more details should be given on how they can be connected by the proposed heritage trail.
- Although the implementation mechanism for the HSK DNA has not been explained in this stage of community engagement, it may be appropriate time for the Government to consider/rethink if the conventional approach of land consolidation through CNTA would still be the right modus operandi in meeting our needs and aspirations for planning and developing NDA. Alternative means to facilitate land consolidation may need to be considered. Implementation of NDA is more than development of physical infrastructure. It is the making of a community that requires better and continuous coordination of different policy initiatives during both the plan-making and implementation phases.
- While public forum and briefing session can reach out to certain sector of the community, they may have become routine without really achieving the purpose of soliciting public views and building community consensus. Consideration should be given to how public views can be canvassed more effectively such that different needs and aspirations of stakeholder groups would be reflected.
Public Affairs Committee
Hong Kong Institute of Planners