Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. CB(1)1318
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)


Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Planning, Lands and Works

Minutes of meeting held on Thursday, 26 March 1998, at 4:30 pm in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building

Members present :

Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP (Chairman)
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP

Members attending :

Hon LIU Sing-lee, Bruce
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok

Members absent :

Hon KAN Fook-yee (Deputy Chairman)
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen

Public officers attending :

Mr Bowen LEUNG, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

Director of Planning

Deputy Director of Planning (Territorial)

Mr Wilson FUNG
Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning,
Environment and Lands (Planning)

Clerk in attendance :

Miss Odelia LEUNG,
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)1

Staff in attendance :

Mrs Mary TANG,
Senior Assistant Secretary (1)2

I Confirmation of minutes of meeting and endorsement of Panel Report
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(1)1027, 1143 and 1132))

The minutes of the meeting on 18 December 1997 and of the joint meeting with Transport Panel on 15 January 1998 were confirmed.

2 Members endorsed the report on the work of the Panel to be tabled at the Council on 7 April 1998.

II Information papers issued since last meeting
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(1)1136 and 1186)

3 Members noted the information paper on slope safety provided by the Administration.

III Territorial Development Strategy Review
(PLC Paper No. CB(1)1191)

4 At the invitation of the Chairman, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) briefly introduced the Final Executive Report of the Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR) and highlighted the salient points. SPEL explained that the primary goal of TDSR was to establish a broad long-term land use-transport-environmental planning framework within which the necessary land and infrastructure could be provided. For strategic planning purposes, the assumption of a population of 8.1 million for the year 2011 was used. There had been wide consultation on TDSR, the outcome of which had formed the basis for compiling the Final Executive Report.

5 Referring to paragraph 7(c) of the PLC Brief on the Final Executive Report regarding a concern raised during public consultation on the need to reduce development pressures in Hong Kong through measures to control population growth, the Chairman enquired whether the Administration had plans to achieve the purpose.

6 SPEL said in response that the Administration had no plans to control population growth, nor would it consider introducing measures to curb immigration. The planning and provision of key infrastructure and opportunities for strategic development was based on the assumption of a population of 8.1 million. The Administration was confident that it could fulfil its plans for development to meet the needs of the population.

7 On the Administration's plans to meet the demand of the growing population, SPEL elaborated that priority would be given to reviewing the strategic growth potential of the following areas as the basis for meeting long- term housing needs-

    - the North Western New Territories;
    - the North Eastern New Territories; and
    - Hong Kong Island South and Lamma Island.

For strategic planning purposes, it was estimated that an additional 352,000 flats would be needed between 2006 and 2011 to meet the housing demand of the population. Meanwhile, the Commission on Strategic Development would review and conduct studies on long term development scenarios for Hong Kong.

8 A member enquired whether the future development of Hong Kong would be co-ordinated with the development of adjacent provinces, given that Hong Kong had become part of China. SPEL indicated that the Commission on Strategic Development, in its study on the development scenarios for Hong Kong, would look into the possibility of co-ordinated development with neighbouring areas. He stressed that the future strategic development of Hong Kong would be closely tied to that of South China.

9 Regarding the Administration's plans to address the environmental issues brought about by the growing population, particularly in fast growing areas like Tung Chung, SPEL assured members that Environmental Impact Assessment studies would be conducted for all major developments. Measures to ameliorate adverse environment effects would include, amongst others, reducing air pollution from vehicle emissions at source and through better transport-environment planning, and accelerating the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme to reduce water pollution.

10 Referring to the concern about the need for port facilities, a member enquired about the progress of the development of Container Terminal No. 9 which had been delayed for five years. SPEL replied that negotiation on the lease of the Container Terminal No. 9 was in its final stage and construction was expected to commence as soon as the final contracts were signed with the relevant parties. Meanwhile, studies had been completed for the proposed development of Container Terminals Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 at Lantau Island. With the feedback from the Port Development Board and the container trade, the Administration would be able to estimate the demand for port facilities. It would then proceed to review the port development strategy, decide on the extent of port facilities that needed to be developed and work out how these could be co-ordinated with infrastructural developments .

11 SPEL acknowledged a member's concern about the need for flexibility in strategic planning and concurred that should the demand for port facilities decrease, consideration would be given to modifying the overall planning to meet housing and commercial demands. He stressed that sufficient flexibility would be exercised in land planning to allow for balanced consideration on the needs of the community.

12 Referring to figure 22 of the TDSR Final Executive Report 1998, a member was concerned that the major office nodes would be centred in West Kowloon, while little or no provision for such had been made in respect of Tseung Kwan O, which was expected to accommodate an ultimate population of 520,000. He urged the Administration to consider providing more job opportunities in the strategic planning of Tseung Kwan O.

13 The Director of Planning (D of P) explained in response that business districts had been designated in Tseung Kwan O and would be shown in the detailed plans of the area. He added that there would be a more dispersed pattern of commercial development around strategically located passenger rail interchanges.

14 The Chairman pointed out that as the Study on Sustainable Development for the 21st Century (SUSDEV 21) had yet to complete, he was concerned that the findings of the Study might not be in line with the recommendations of TDSR. SPEL indicated that SUSDEV 21 was not a development study. SUSDEV 21 was aimed at formulating a definition of sustainability for Hong Kong and recommending measures which would ensure socially responsible economic development while protecting the environment for the benefit of future generations. He acknowledged the Chairman's concern about population pressures on sustainable development and concurred that the effect of population growth was an area which needed to be carefully looked at in the long term, in conjunction with corresponding development plans in the Pearl River Delta.

15 As regards measures to encourage development of new forms of industries and the redevelopment of old industrial areas, SPEL made the following points -

  1. The Administration was working on the planning parameters for the establishment of a Science Park at Pak Shek Kok. The Science Park would provide technological support for Hong Kong's manufacturing industry and would help it move into high technology and production of high-value added products;

  2. The Administration was committed to planning and providing infrastructural development to tie in with new industrial development; and

  3. Efforts would be made to rezone some of the old industrial districts to meet the demand for residential and commercial uses.

16 D of P added that a recent study undertaken by the Planning Department had indicated that about 80 hectares of industrial land could be rezoned for residential or other developments and change of land use would continue to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with procedures laid down in the Town Planning Ordinance, Cap 131.

17 On members' concern about long term planning for development growth, SPEL advised that the Administration would conduct integrated planning and development studies for additional strategic growth areas. Strategic environmental impact studies would also be conducted in these areas to enable timely measures to be adopted to mitigate environmental effects of development growth.

18 Regarding the proposed developments in Lantau Island, members noted that consideration would be given to allowing increased developments in North Lantau to cater for population growth. As part of longer term planning, the Administration would consider the possibility of further developments in East Lantau, where the coastal waters were relatively shallow.

19 SPEL acknowledged members' concern about the need for more transport links to be built to serve strategic growth areas.

20 There being no other business, the meeting closed at 5:30 pm.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
1 June 1998