on 3 November 1997
Provisional LegCo Economic Services Panel
Northshore Lantau Development Study
We intend to engage consultants to conduct a feasibility study of the port facilities and other land uses proposed for Northshore Lantau. (Plan 1)
PROJECT SCOPE AND NATURE
2. Northshore Lantau development refers to the planned reclamation along the north shore of Lantau Island between Kwai Shek and Tai Ho Wan. The extent of reclamation is subject to the findings of the proposed feasibility study and site investigation. A number of port-related facilities have been planned for the area, including a river trade terminal, floating dock on-shore facilities, a mid-stream site, a public cargo working area and back-up facilities for ship repair yards. The proposed feasibility study will also examine on the opportunities to accommodate other facilities to achieve a more balanced development and to provide facilities which cannot be easily accommodated elsewhere in Hong Kong. These include the possibility of a business estate, a science park, environmentally clean high technology industries, and land extensive government/institutional/community uses such as a sports stadium. The study will also investigate the scope for low density housing, resort hotels and other tourist/recreation development at the Tsing Chau Tsai headland north of Penny's Bay.
3. The project scope comprises -
- a review of the proposed land uses and transport infrastructure in the study area including the future Penny's Bay reclamation;
- assessment of planning, engineering, traffic and transport, environment, marine and drainage aspects of the proposed development; and
- environmental impact assessments for both construction and operation phases of the development.
4. With the completion of the new transport infrastructure to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and the Tung Chung New Town, Northshore Lantau will be well served by major road and rail links in the near future. To capitalize on the development opportunities arising from this, we need to undertake the proposed study to examine the feasibility of providing the planned port facilities as well as alternative land use options to optimise the development potential of the area.
5. Regarding port facilities, the growing river trade traffic reflects the continued shift towards using the Pearl River waterways for the transportation of containers and cargoes between Hong Kong and Guangdong. The use of river barges to transport containers and cargoes is not only cheaper but it also helps to reduce pressure on the road system and boundary crossings. To encourage more use of the waterways for transporting containers, the first Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal (RTT) will come into operation in 1998. To meet the longer term demand, we have identified a site at Northshore Lantau for the development of a second RTT and we need to start the feasibility study to confirm the suitability of the site.
6. Currently mid-stream operators handle about 3 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) or 23% of the throughput of our port. Due to the scarcity of land for conventional container terminal development in Hong Kong, mid-stream operations will continue to play a vital role in meeting the shortfall in container handling capacity. We have reserved land in Northshore Lantau to provide permanent mid-stream sites to meet the long-term demand and we need to carry out a feasibility study to confirm the suitability of the site.
7. According to the Territorial Development Strategy Review in 1996, Northshore Lantau is a possible long-term major employment centre. It has been identified as a potential area for possible development of environmentally clean high technology industries, a science park and a business estate. The Visitor and Tourism Study for Hong Kong published in 1996 has also highlighted the recreational potential of Northshore Lantau. Upon consultation with departments concerned, it was decided that the study will also examine the feasibility of a business park, science park, recreational uses and low density housing developments in the area.
8. We estimate the total cost of the study is about $63 million. We intend to seek approval from the PWSC soon to upgrade this project to Cat A so that the study could commence in early 1998. The proposed feasibility study will not give rise to any recurrent expenditure.
9. The site investigation and the study itself will not have any environmental impact. We will conduct a preliminary environmental assessment on various development options to evaluate and confirm the feasibility of the revised extent of reclamation and scope of development, and recommend a preferred outline development plan for the proposed project. Based on the preferred development plan, we will then carry out a detailed EIA study to confirm the environmental acceptability and to identify any necessary mitigation measures.
10. The proposed feasibility study, site investigations and environmental and ecological surveys will not require resumption of land.
11. We have consulted the Islands and Tsuen Wan District Boards at various stages during the Lantau Port feasibility studies and the subsequent planning and design of the Lantau Port and associated land use proposals. The District Boards had no comments on the proposed development on the Northshore. We will brief the District Boards again on the results of this study, regarding the port developments and the other land use proposals.
12. We gazetted the draft North-east Lantau Port Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) on 24 March 1995 which included a river trade terminal and floating dock on-shore facilities near Kwai Shek. The OZP was approved on 24 September 1996 and gazetted on 4 October 1996. However, in view of the other port facilities now proposed as well as the additional non-port land use proposals, we will conduct an EIA as part of the proposed study to confirm the acceptability of all the uses. Subject to the results of this study, we will amend the OZP to incorporate the revised land use proposals and gazette it for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.
13. The proposed feasibility study will be submitted to the PWSC on 12 November 1997 and the Finance Committee on 12 December 1997 for funding approval.
Economic Services Bureau
Last Updated on 5 November 1997