LegCo Panel on Planning, Lands and Works and LegCo Panel on Housing
Lead Time for the Production of Land and Housing


1. This paper provides a brief description of the process and time involved between the identification of sites and the completion of flats for private housing.

2. The strategic development growth areas (SGA) proposed under the Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR) can be broadly divided into reclamation-based and land-based. The planning and development process for both of them are largely the same. Their major difference lies in the statutory provisions for obtaining authorization from the Governor in Council (G in C), since reclamation works have to be gazetted under the Foreshore and Seabed (Reclamation) Ordinance (FS(R)O) whereas land-based SGAs have to go through the land resumption procedures.

The Planning Process

3. To provide a basis for formulating land use proposals and outline development plans for SGAs identified under TDSR, an 18-month outline planning study will first be conducted to ascertain the acceptability and feasibility of the SGAs, for subsequent detailed feasibility studies and implementation programmes. The study will produce a broad pattern of land use and development framework for the SGA.

4. Upon endorsement of the recommendations of the outline planning study, an engineering feasibility study will then be undertaken to examine in more detail various aspects for development of the area including geotechnical, transport, environment and infrastructure, etc. A recommended outline development plan (RODP) will be prepared setting out the disposition of land uses, the hierarchy of the road system servicing the development sites, the land use budget and schedule of government, institution and community uses and open space provision. The study will also formulate a comprehensive development programme on an annual basis for the area.

5. Based on the land use proposals of the RODP, a statutory outline zoning plan (OZP) will be prepared for the area concerned. Subject to the agreement of the Town Planning Board (the Board), the OZP will be submitted to the District Board (DB) for consultation, together with findings of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) which is part of the engineering feasibility study. Recommendations of EIA will also be submitted to the Advisory Council on the Environment for consultation at the same time. Taking into account comments from DB, the OZP will then be gazetted for public inspection for a period of two months.

6. Objections to the OZP received during this period will be considered by the Board. If the objectors refuse to withdraw the objections after preliminary consideration by the Board, they will be invited to a hearing. Subject to any recommendation of the Board, the OZP, together with all unwithdrawn objections, will be submitted to G in C for final decision. It is estimated that on average it would take about 38 months for completion of the whole planning process.

Reclamation-Based SGA

7. For reclamation-based SGAs, authorization of reclamation work will have to be obtained from G in C after gazetting the project under FS(R)O and resolving the objections received. On average it would take about 22 months to complete the whole process. In order to streamline the procedures yet achieving greater public accountability, the Town Planning Board at its meeting on 29 November 1996 agreed that actions under Town Planning Ordinance and FS(R)O should be carried out in parallel on the condition that no reclamation works will be authorised until after completion of the town planning procedures.

Land-based SGA

8. Authorization for the land-based SGAs will have to be obtained from G in C for resuming any private land affected by the project. The project will then be gazetted under the Crown Land Resumption Ordinance. On average it would take about 48 months to complete negotiation on compensation and rehousing issues, together with subsequent clearance of any structures remaining on the land.

9. Although it is not a statutory requirement, normally the resumption procedures would only proceed after completion of the statutory planning procedures. This is because G in C, in considering whether the land should be resumed for public purpose, would need to be satisfied that the resumption is for implementation of the town plan.

Building and Infrastructure Work

10. After obtaining authorization from G in C, detailed design for the engineering works of either reclamation or land formation will then be commissioned. This would usually take about 12 months to complete.

11. The land formation work for land-based SGAs and construction work of reclamation will take about 24 months to complete. Assuming that the site is then immediately released for private development, it would then take another 36 months for completing the building and infrastructural works.

12. The charts showing the planning and development process for reclamation-based and land-based strategic development growth areas are at Appendix I and II for members information and reference.

Points to Note

13. The above is just an estimate on the time required under normal circumstances for completing the whole process of flat production. The duration of various procedures could vary depending on the complexity of the area concerned. Moreover, the above procedures are only applicable to SGAs which are newly proposed by TDSR. The other SGAs, in particular the reclamation-based SGAs, are already at different stages of planning and development.

14. Taking into account the lead time required for land production, the Administration is now considering measures to streamline and shorten the planning and development process, such as starting the statutory planning process after the completion of the outline planning study and taking parallel actions on some administrative procedures. Support would also be required from LegCo on approving funds for the conduction of feasibility studies for the SGAs.


Appendix I The Planning and Development Process for Reclamation-based Strategic Development Growth Areas
Appendix II The Planning and Development Process for Land-based Strategic Development Growth Areas

February 1997

Last Updated on 20 August 1998