File Ref. : PELB(CR) TC 15/95 Pt 9

Provisional Legislative Council Brief



At the meeting of the Executive Council on 24 February 1998, the Council ADVISED and the Chief Executive ORDERED that Final Executive Report of the Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR) be adopted for carrying out detailed plans and programmes for the future development of Hong Kong.


2. The primary goal of the TDSR is to establish a broad long-term land use-transport-environmental planning framework within which the necessary land and infrastructure can be provided, having regard to resource availability, to enable Hong Kong to continue to grow as a regional and an international "City of Vision" and to maintain and enhance its image as an attractive place in which to live and work, taking account of development trends in South China, especially in the Pearl River Delta (PRD).

3. The TDSR is based on current policies and standards for implementing both short and medium term plans. Provisions have been made to enable changes required for on-going reviews.

4. The following objectives have been adopted as the principal means to achieve the main aim :

Objective 1 : To enhance Hong Kong's role as an international city and a regional centre for business, finance, information, tourism, entrepot activities and manufacturing.

Objective 2: To ensure that needs for various land uses, particularly housing, and infrastructure are satisfied.

Objective 3: To make Hong Kong an attractive place by conserving and enhancing significant landscape and ecological attributes, and important heritage features.

Objective 4: To enhance and protect the quality of the environment.

Objective 5: To provide a framework within which a multi-choice, high capacity, safe, efficient, economically viable and acceptable transport system can be developed to facilitate economic growth and development of strategic growth areas.

Objective 6: To formulate a strategy that can be carried out by both the public and private sectors under variable circumstances.

5. In formulating a range of strategic development options, two broad scenarios were initially assumed, as follows -

(a)Scenario A:this postulates that the Pearl River Delta (PRD) will be the major economic hinterland of Hong Kong over the long term. For this scenario, a 2011 territorial population of 7.5 million people was assumed;

(b)Scenario B:this postulates that Guangdong Province and other provinces of China will be the major economic hinterland of Hong Kong. For this scenario, a 2011 population of 8.1 million people was assumed.

6. The current territorial population projections issued by the Commissioner for Census and Statistics in May 1997 anticipate a population of about 7.8 million by 2011 and 8.2 million by 2016. It is considered that for strategic planning purposes, the Scenario B assumption of 8.1 million for 2011 should be used. However, projects would be programmed and implemented having regard to current population projections, especially for the medium term.


Outcome of the Public Consultation

7. In July 1996, a six-month public consultation exercise on the TDSR was launched. Briefings and discussions were held with professional, academic, statutory, advisory and community bodies. From the responses received, the following main points of concern have been identified -

  1. a more "visionary" approach to strategic planning should be adopted to examine options for a "maximum" level of population growth and development in Hong Kong beyond 2011;

  2. the scale of economic-related growth demands should be regulated to relieve development pressures in Hong Kong, especially the further expansion of the port;

  3. there is a need to reduce development pressures in Hong Kong through measures to control population growth;

  4. there is a need for a wider regional approach to strategic planning;

  5. "satellite" communities should be developed in the PRD for Hong Kong people, by way of special arrangements with the appropriate authorities;

  6. steps should be taken towards the liberalisation of planning policies and controls, along with the provision of new infrastructure, to promote additional strategic growth in under-utilised lowlying areas of the New Territories;

  7. more emphasis should be placed on urban renewal as a strategic planning objective;

  8. there should be a strategy that does not depend solely on harbour reclamations;

  9. land production and infrastructure provision should be accelerated;

  10. the provision of housing should be accelerated;

  11. the development of new forms of industry and the redevelopment of old industrial areas for other purposes should be encouraged;

  12. there is a need to promote the decentralisation of business activities and other job opportunities to easily accessible non-Metro areas so as to help redress the imbalance between the distribution of places where people live and work, thereby helping to reduce commuter traffic flows, ameliorate noise and air pollution, and save on energy fuel supplies;

  13. there is a need to direct more resources and efforts to the provision of additional, high-capacity passenger rail systems preferably ahead of development to provide a catalyst for investment in strategic growth areas that, in turn, should be of adequate scale to create a "critical mass" of travel demands to produce a financially viable passenger rail system;

  14. a longer time period should be assumed for planning the provision of key infrastructure and opportunities for strategic development beyond the present planning horizon of 2011;

  15. consideration should be given to setting up high-level institutional mechanisms to better co-ordinate land development and infrastructure provision;

  16. in responding to escalating development pressures, more efforts should be made in respect of environmental protection, including policies and programmes to minimise negative pressures and to conserve natural resources; and

  17. the policy towards the retention of land for agricultural use should be clarified and a coherent conservation policy administered by an appropriate authority should be instituted.

8. The above points have been carefully studied. A report has been prepared, indicating where it is considered appropriate for adjustments to be made to the TDSR proposals.

9. Over the past years, a number of key studies have been completed relating to issues identified by TDSR such as future demand for housing, the replanning of Central-East Kowloon, the development of Kai Tak - Kowloon Bay, acceleration and intensification of development at Tseung Kwan O and North Lantau, future demands for office development, the redevelopment potential of the Metro Area, a review of the future role of industry, the optimum usage of Hong Kong marine waters, a review of studies relating to the impact of harbour reclamation's and the planning of new cross-border transport links.

10. The outcome of the public consultation and results from the above-mentioned studies form a basis for the Final Executive Report.

Broad Time Frames under the TDSR

11. The TDSR assumed four broad time frames, the respective aim of which is as follows -

  • The Short Term up to 2001 - to focus on the speediest possible implementation of individual projects already in the pipeline, especially with regard to housing;

  • The Medium Term from 2001 - 2006 - to accelerate the detailed design and implementation of already planned larger scale land development and related infrastructure projects on a more co-ordinated basis. Many of the land development projects are required for housing;

  • The Long Term from 2006 - 2011 - to promulgate and complete as soon as possible a number of integrated planning and development studies for additional strategic growth areas to provide a framework for the subsequent implementation of priority projects; and

  • An Extended Time Horizon beyond 2011 - to study new strategic development concepts, in the context of future regional development scenarios identified for further consideration in ongoing reviews of the TDS.


(a)Housing Needs

  • A long-term policy target has been set to achieve a housing production level of no less than 85,000 flats a year in the public and private sectors, based on the population forecasts and estimates of long-term housing demand. Of the 85,000 flats a year, government will build 50,000 flats in the public sector and will facilitate the production of 35,000 flats in the private sector.

  • Government will provide sufficient housing land to the Housing Authority and Housing Society to achieve the production target of 50,000 flats a year from 1999/2000 onwards to meet estimated requirements.

  • Of the 35,000 flats to be provided by the private sector, some will come from redevelopment and lease modification depending on demand situation and commercial decisions. For flats to be produced from new land, recognizing there may be short-term variations in actual annual delivery of flats, government would closely monitor the housing production level and exercise flexibility in the land disposal programme to meet market demand. Our policy objective is to ensure adequate and stable housing land supply to cater for the needs of the community.

  • For the Short Term up to 2001, our current plans and programmes have sufficient potential capacity to meet the policy target, through target-oriented programmes.

  • For the Medium Term, between 2001-2006, the aim is to satisfy forecast demand through development of reserved sites, build-back from redevelopment and reuse of existing sites, supply of housing sites and strategic growth areas.

  • To meet the Long Term housing needs between 2006 to 2011, in addition to the above sources of supply, development potential of the North-Western New Territories, North-Eastern New Territories and Hong Kong Island South and Lamma Island will be studied.
Speeding up Development Process

  • To ensure adequate supply of housing, steps have been taken to streamline development processes. Land use policy are being reviewed to facilitate rezoning of existing land, where infrastructural capacity and environmental considerations permit. We have also introduced legislation in 1998 to facilitate land assembly by the private sector.

(b)Initiatives to create Employment

  • An Office Land Development Strategy is proposed to sustain Hong Kong's hub function as a regional and international centre for business, services and finance. There will be a more dispersed pattern of commercial development within the Metro Area around strategically located passenger rail interchanges.

  • There will be an expansion of information-based and knowledge-based tertiary services that form part of a long, extra-territorial chain of manufacturing activities.

  • We should explore opportunities for economic diversification by encouraging new types of enterprises involving the application of higher technology and production of higher-value-added products.


  • Provision should be made at an early stage in the development process for high-capacity passenger rail systems, supplemented by a network of road-based public transport services.

  • Recommended key railway projects include KCRC West Rail, MTR extension to Tseung Kwan O, Ma On Shan to Tai Wai Rail Link, East Kowloon Route, rail corridor along the central north shore of Hong Kong Island, MTR extension to Green Island, KCR extension to West Kowloon and a possible new cross-harbour line.

  • We proposed a denser web of N-S and E-W high-capacity expressways plus new cross-border highways including Central-Wanchai By-pass and Island East Corridor Link, Route 7 from Aberdeen to Western, Route 9 from Tsing Yi to West Kowloon, new connection from Tseung Kwan O to South East Kowloon, highway linking up Green Island to North Lantau, Tsing Lung Tau, Yuen Long and Deep Bay with possible connection to new regional links, highway through eastern New Territories linking up with Metro Areas.

(d)Urban Renewal

  • The Metro area is expected to remain as the major activity area where people live and work. A comprehensive review of the Metroplan is being undertaken together with the formulation of an Urban Renewal Strategy and the establishment of an Urban Renewal Authority by 1999.

(e)Focus on 2001-2006 Medium-Term Strategy

  • Top priority is focused on meeting the 2001-2006 housing and development needs of Hong Kong by developing undeveloped residential sites, supplementary housing sites, rezoning of obsolete industrial areas and development of Strategic Growth Areas.

(f)Other Recommendations

  • Establishment of a Science Park, major port development projects, promotion of non-Metro-based tourist attractions.

  • Extensions of country and marine parks where appropriate and maintaining ecological integrity of the Mai Po Marshes.

  • Implementing Strategic Sewage Disposal Strategy and measures to minimise waste generation and reduce air pollution.

(g)Co-ordination of Plans and Programmes

  • The implementation of the TDSR recommendations requires careful co-ordination of policies, resources allocation, preparation of plans and implementation of works. Such co-ordination will need to be taken at the project implementation level through target-oriented programmes and at the policy level.

(h)Distant Vision

  • Looking into the future beyond 2011, in view of the role of Hong Kong as a "hub" to further support economic development on the Mainland, we should examine the following:

    - future scale and location of port and related facilities;

    - enhance accessibility of the airport at Chek Lap Kok to the Mainland;

    - provision of East -West highway system for the New Territories and cross-boundary connections to eastern parts of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone;

    - possibility of new strategic growth areas; and

    - possibility of some of Hong Kong's growth needs to be met by developments from Shenzhen to Guangzhou.

  • In this context, we should strengthen cross-boundary liaison on strategic land-use planning, common environmental concerns, new transport links, and port and airport development priorities.


  • As the TDSR's development framework is demand-led, there is concern on whether we can cope with the economic pressures in the years to come. There is a need to consider a system by which corporate decisions striking a balance between the economic, social and environmental needs of Hong Kong can best be made. This is the major task of the Study on Sustainable Development for the 21st Century (SUSDEV21) commissioned in September 1997.


12. On the basis of existing policies and technologies, the Strategic Environmental Assessment, has shown that there would be some residual environmental consequences arising from the medium and long term strategy. Such concerns highlight the need for timely actions to tackle the perceived problems on a broad front, including reduction of air pollution from vehicle emission at source and through better transport - environmental planning, acceleration of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Strategy, implementation of a waste-to-energy plant, measures to reduce waste, assessment of cumulative impacts of developments, effective protection of important ecological resources, and effective policies and programmes to help achieve environmentally sustainable development.


13. A broad financial evaluation was made of various strategic development options. Focusing on the Recommended Medium-Term Strategy, it was estimated that there could be an overall net return to the public sector of about HK$232 billion (at 1995 prices). Overall public sector expenditure for land development for strategic growth packages, strategic highways and railways was assessed to be in the order of HK$239 billion. More detailed assessments will be made as and when feasibility studies for individual projects are undertaken.


14. Similarly, our previous studies established that the long-term TDSR proposals would bring about considerable economic benefits to Hong Kong with an overall economic rate of return of 13.5% and an aggregate contribution to GDP of about $114 billion (at 1995 prices) for Scenario B. We expect that the current TDSR proposals would bring similar results.


15. A press conference will be held and a press release will be issued today.


16. If you have any inquiries, please contact Mr Wilson Fung, Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands at 28482119.

Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau
26 March 1998