Legislative Council

LC Paper No. CB(1)1979/98-99
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)

Ref: CB1/PL/PLW/1

LegCo Panel on Planning, Lands and Works

Minutes of meeting held on Tuesday, 20 July 1999, at 2:30 pm in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building

Members present :

Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, SBS, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP (Deputy Chairman)
Hon HO Sai-chu, SBS, JP
Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun

Non-Panel members attending :

Hon LEE Kai-ming, SBS, JP
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP

Members absent :

Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, GBS, JP

Public officers attending:

Mr Patrick LAU
Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands(Planning and Lands)

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

Mr Andrew WELLS
Deputy Secretary for Housing

Acting Director of Territory Development

Project Manager
Kowloon Development Office
Territory Development Department

Mr James CHAN
Chief Engineer
Kowloon Development Office
Territory Development Department

Mrs June LI
Assistant Director of Planning (Metro)

Mr Joseph LAU
Acting Chief Engineer/Railway Planning
Railway Development Office
Highways Department
Attendance by invitation:
Hong Kong Institute of Architects

Mr Barry WILL

Mr Anthony NG
Chairman of Board of Local Affairs

The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

Ir Otto L T POON
Immediate Past President

Ir Dr John W K LUK
Senior Vice President

Ir Maurice W W LEE
Committee member of
Environmental Division

The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors

Mr Samson WONG

Mr Francis T LAU
Chairman of Standing Committee of
Town Planning

Member of Standing Committee of
Town Planning

The Hong Kong Institute of Planners

Ms Betty HO
Council member and Convenor
Public Affairs Committee

The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects

Mr Matthew PRYOR
Member of Public Affairs Committee

Swire Properties Limited

Managing Director

Mr Gordon ONGLEY
Senior Development Manager

Mr Kenneth KWOK
Senior Development Manager

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
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
(LC Paper Nos. CB(1)1541 and 1703/98-99)

The minutes of meeting held on 23 March 1999 and of the joint meeting with Environmental Affairs Panel on 4 May 1999 were confirmed.

II Date of next meeting and items for discussion
(LC Paper Nos. CB(1)1663/98-99(01) and (02))

2. Noting that the Administration did not intend to propose items for discussion during the summer recess, members agreed that regular Panel meetings would not be held in August and September 1999.

III Information papers issued since last meeting

3. Members noted the following information papers issued since last meeting -

Paper No. CB(1)1517/98-99 - letter from the Administration regarding the stoppage of works at Kwun Tong to To Kwa Wan Tunnel;

Paper No. CB(1)1582/98-99 - Finance Committee paper on the Slope Improvement Loan Scheme for private schools; and

Paper No. CB(1)1517/98-99 - submission on the Town Planning Bill made by the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong.

IV South East Kowloon Development (SEKD)
(LC Paper Nos. CB(1)1623/98-99, CB(1)1663/98-99(03) and (04) and CB(1)1713/98-99(01))

A. Meeting with the Administration

4. The Chairman advised that the Panel had discussed SEKD at its meetings on 10 September, 17 September, 29 October and 9 March 1999. The purpose of this meeting was to receive a briefing from the Administration on its revised proposal on SEKD.

5. The Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands said that following the gazettal of the draft Kai Tak (North) and Kai Tak (South) Outline Zoning Plans in September 1998, the public expressed concerns and raised objections to the proposed land uses. The Administration revised its plan taking into account the views expressed by LegCo Members, professional bodies, green groups and interested parties in a series of public consultation. With the aid of a computer, the Project Manager, Kowloon Development Office, Territory Development Department (PM/TDD) gave a presentation on the revised proposal for SEKD, highlighting the salient points of the papers (LC Paper Nos. CB(1)1663/98-99(03) and (04). He said that the outline concept plan for the revised scheme had been examined by the Town Planning Board (TPB) at its meeting on 21 May 1999. The TPB had agreed that the revised plan could be used as the basis for discussion at the hearing of objections on 8 and 9 June 1999. The plan was also presented at the public forum organised by the Planning Department on 23 June 1999. Subject to members' comments, the Administration intended to use the outline concept plan as a broad basis for commissioning a new comprehensive feasibility study to formulate detailed proposals for the revised scheme. Members would be further consulted on the detailed proposals when the study was completed.

6. Ir Dr Raymond HO and Miss CHAN Yuen-han expressed appreciation for the Administration's efforts in revising the proposal, taking account of public views. Dr HO sought clarification on the detailed design of the box culverts and the practical difficulties in maintaining them. PM/TDD said that given the extent of reclamation under the original proposal and based on hydraulic calculations, large and extended box culverts as wide as 110 metres at the point of discharge were needed. The maintenance of such sizeable culverts would be a formidable task. With the proposed reduction in the scale of reclamation and the demolition of the Airport Tunnel under the revised plan, it was now feasible to realign and reduce the size of box culverts. The consultants would be asked to propose box culverts of sufficient size to accommodate and facilitate maintenance works. The feasibility study would examine and confirm the details.

7. Ir Dr Raymond HO enquired whether the proposed international stadium would be ready in time for the Asian Games in 2006. PM/TDD said that based on the current estimation, the international stadium might not be completed in time for the hosting of the Asian Games in 2006. Nevertheless, it was the Administration's intention to build a world class stadium. The exact schedule of development had yet to be worked out and a more definite plan would be available upon the completion of the feasibility study.

8. The Chairman opined that the Administration need to complete the feasibility study and brief members on the findings before the dissolution of LegCo in mid-2000. In response, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (PAS/PEL) said that if the outline concept plan was considered acceptable, this would be used as a broad basis for commissioning a comprehensive feasibility study for the revised scheme. The study was expected to be completed in about 12 to 15 months. The outcome of the study would be reported to the Panel. Based on the findings of the study, the scheme might be further revised. A revised outline zoning plan would then be made and gazetted under the town planning process and funding would be sought for proceeding with the detailed design.

9. The Chief Engineer, Kowloon Development Office, Territory Development Department (CE/TDD) added that priority would be given to completing the housing development at the north apron area of Kai Tak Airport (NAKTA) to allow for the early provision of housing. The detailed design was expected to be completed by end-2001, after which tenders would be invited for SEKD.

10. Miss CHAN Yuen-han pointed out the incompatibility of the proposed heliport with the surrounding tourist attraction points such as the cruise terminal and entertainment areas. To minimise disturbance, she suggested that the heliport be located on the roof-top of buildings. She was also concerned about the environmental impact of transport interchanges on the surrounding areas and suggested that as far as practicable, depressed roads should be designed to minimise noise and air pollution.

11. PM/TDD said in response that the Administration had taken into account public views in selecting the site for the heliport. The heliport would be situated on the roof-top of the tourist centre. An environmental impact assessment would be conducted and residents' needs would be taken into consideration. As regards transport arrangement, PM/TDD said that the transport interchange in SEKD would comprise four levels of roads. There were practical difficulties in further depressing the road network but this would be looked into in the feasibility study.

12. Miss Emily LAU said that the scale of SEKD necessitated co-ordinated planning on all fronts to create a pollution free environment. Noting the extent of the proposed road network, she questioned if there were practical difficulties in replacing it with a more environmentally friendly rail system. PM/TDD said that the proposed road network in SEKD would cover trunk roads, primary and district distributor roads, and local roads. Trunk Road T1 would connect Central Kowloon Route and Tate's Cairn Tunnel. Trunk Road T2 would link Western Coast Road with T1. These two trunk roads would inevitably have some environmental impact on the neighbouring areas. A transport corridor would be identified along the Kai Tak Runway to facilitate the future planning of an environmentally friendly transport system. This could take the form of a people-mover/travellator or a mass transit rail system. The decision on the form and the design would depend on passenger demand and the necessary connecting links.

13. Noting the proposed provision of a refuse transfer station (RTS) at Laguna City, Miss CHAN Yuen-han enquired about the feasibility of locating it elsewhere. PM/TDD said that as the existing RTS at Kowloon Bay was already operating near capacity, a RTS within SEKD was considered necessary. Given that a RTS had to be sufficiently close to the public filling barging points and public parking facilities, the choice of sites meeting this criterion was limited. The proposed site of the RTS at SEKD had yet to be confirmed.

14. On members' concern about the provision of housing in SEKD, the Deputy Secretary for Housing (DS/H) advised that the housing development would be implemented in three stages starting with NAKTA, followed by the development at Kai Tak Nullah Approach Channel/Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter Reclamation and at Kowloon Bay Reclamation. In order to meet medium term housing needs, the Administration hoped that the housing development at NAKTA would be implemented as early as practicable, taking advantage of the formed land already available. Members' views on the NAKTA development would be sought as soon as the detailed layout was completed. The development at NAKTA was expected to commence prior to the completion of the comprehensive feasibility study. The first intake of population, which was initially planned to start in 2003, would be slightly delayed to 2004. The population intake at Kai Tak Nullah/Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter was expected to start in 2007. As the target population at SEKD would be reduced from 320,000 to 240,000, the last phase of housing development would accommodate a smaller population than originally planned.

B. Meeting with professional institutes

Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA)
Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE)
Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS)

15. Mr Roger NISSIM of Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors spoke on behalf of the three institutes which had earlier submitted a joint proposal on SEKD (Re: LC Paper No. CB(1)980/98-99(01)). He said that the institutes welcomed the Administration's revised proposal on SEKD which had taken into account their comments. With the aid of a computer, Mr NISSIM compared the Administration's original and revised proposals with the institutes' joint proposal. Commenting on the Administration's revised proposal, Mr NISSIM said that the institutes considered that the extent of reclamation could be further reduced and that the alignment of the original runway should be kept as a heritage. Reclamation along the runway areas was not strictly necessary. The hinterland could be made better use of taking into account the Kowloon Density Study and the Metroplan. The revised proposal should be guided by the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance and should aim at a minimum extent of reclamation. The Administration should make better use of the land to enable more people to enjoy the harbour. The institutes were of the view that there was still a lot of fragmentation in the plan and further improvements in the layout could be made. The commercial areas should be situated close to the tourist areas. Redundant and obsolete industrial buildings could be redeveloped for commercial use. Land should not be reclaimed for commercial developments as these could be accommodated at San Po Kong and Kowloon Bay. The institutes were very concerned about the road network which would be cutting off the urban space from residents and called for a more environmentally friendly transport network. In conclusion, Mr NISSIM said that the institutes were happy to continue dialogue with the Administration and would welcome the opportunity to participate in the exchange of ideas.

16. Ir Dr John LUK of HKIE suggested that the area and hence the value of the site could be increased by elevating the proposed metropolitan park to the second or third level. This would provide 2,500,000 square feet of additional space for each level. The additional space made available could be used to accommodate Government, institution and community uses. This would maximise the use of the reclaimed site. Furthermore, the additional revenue generated could be used to fund the construction of the rail system.

17. Ir Otto POON of HKIE opined that while the main road network would be concentrated at the north western part of the development, part of the road system could be dispersed to service other areas within the development. HKIE suggested that a central water cooling system be provided for the air-conditioning of the development.

Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP)

18. Ms Betty HO of HKIP said that HKIP supported the Administration's revised proposal on SEKD which had been significantly improved in terms of reduction in scale of reclamation and the provision of a rail system as the backbone for transport. HKIP hoped that the feasibility study to be undertaken would examine the means of bringing people closer to the harbour. To achieve this effect, roads should not run alongside the waterfront promenade as this would separate the harbour from people. More environmental control measures to reduce air and noise pollution should be included in the road network system. Ms HO stressed that the design of a more environmentally friendly road network was necessary even if the costs were higher. Such a road network would minimise development constraints and allow more flexibility in development. HKIP called on integration of SEKD with surrounding old districts in terms of transport and community development. The feasibility study should also work out measures to expedite urban renewal in order to reduce the population density of old districts.

Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects (HKILA)

19. Mr Matthew PRYOR of HKILA said that HKILA supported the institutes' joint proposal on SEKD. As regards the Administration's revised proposal, he was concerned about the amount of open space that could be made available given the need for provision of drainage and road networks. He was also concerned about the accessibility to open spaces and their integration with residential areas since most of the open spaces would be compartmentalised and surrounded by housing developments.


20. Referring to HKIP's call for reducing the population density of old districts, Miss Emily LAU queried how this could be achieved with the proposed significant reduction in the extent of reclamation. Ms Betty HO said in response that integrating developments in new and old districts would enable joint use of facilities. Ideally SEKD would expedite the renewal of old districts which would reduce the population density.

21. Miss Emily LAU sought the institutes' views on the need to increase the plot ratio in SEKD for the purpose of accommodating more people. Mr Francis LAU of HKIS said that the Administration should not fix the plot ratio at 6.5 and should allow flexibility in land use planning. A higher plot ratio could be applied if the capacity of the transport network could be designed to meet the need of a greater population. The use of land could be maximised if more high rise buildings were allowed in the hinterland.

22. Noting the proposed reduction in target population from 320,000 to 240,000 in SEKD, Ir Dr Raymond HO sought the institutes' view on the optimal ratio of public to private housing. Ms Betty HO said that the ratio of public to private housing should remain at 6:4 in line with other new developments but slight adjustments should be allowed since the exact ratio would depend on the planning and design of the site. Mr NISSIM said that if the institutes' joint proposal was adopted, a maximum plot ratio of eight at certain areas, going down to five at the waterfront, would accommodate the original target population of 320,000. Mr NISSIM said that HKIS did not have a fixed view on the ratio of public to private housing development as Government's housing policy was subject to change. Some flexibility should be allowed to take account of changing market needs. He was aware of the pressure for public housing and accepted that the housing development at NAKTA should go ahead first subject to the provision of an overall plan. Mr Barry WILL of HKIA said that the revised scheme was presently a concept plan and the ratio of public to private housing development should remain flexible.

23. Responding to Mr NISSIM, DS/H said that the Government had not changed its policy commitment on housing. The Government had pledged to provide an average of 50,000 public housing units per year, and to facilitate the production of 35,000 private housing units per year to meet overall demand. The actual annual production of private housing in a given year would continue to depend on market conditions and the commercial decisions of developers.

24. Mr James TO expressed concern about the environmental problems associated with the stagnant waters near the existing runway. Mr Barry WILL said that the runway would be cut through to allow the flow of water into the enclosed bay. With the benefit of a geotechnic and hydraulic study, a system could be devised to flush and cleanse the bay area. However, the pollution problem of the seabed could not be solved simply by covering it. Methodologies would have to be worked out to overcome the problem. The revised proposal would provide more waterfront area for the enjoyment of the harbour.

25. Mr Barry WILL further stressed the importance of sustainability in development. The facilities to be built should include a centralised cooling system and a refuse transfer station which could be used for the whole area for a long period of time. A centralised water cooling system would eliminate most of the nuisances associated with individual cooling systems and should be provided to both commercial and residential developments.

C. Meeting with Swire Properties Limited

26. Mr K G KERR said that the Swire Properties Limited did not have any economic interest in SEKD. As a responsible corporate citizen and a major investor in Hong Kong, the Swire Properties Limited was concerned about the future shape and form of the city. While the company was in support of the revised proposal which had significantly reduced the extent of reclamation, Mr KERR said that reclamation was only one issue and more concern should be given to the entire urban planning. He pointed out that SEKD would provide a unique opportunity to re-define the city. This opportunity should be made use of in the best possible way and should not be lost to expediency or to short-term cost considerations. In his view, some changes were needed and he did not wish to see the repeat of West Kowloon Reclamation Development. He said that Hong Kong should strive to create the highest long term values and re-establish itself as the premiere city in Asia. With this background in mind, the Swire Properties Limited commissioned the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill International Ltd (SOM) to take a fresh look at SEKD and produced an alternative design without the constraints of the accepted Hong Kong standard and norms.

27. With the aid of a computer, Mr Steven TOWNSEND of SOM gave a presentation on SOM's alternative proposal on SEKD. He stressed that the following five key principles were adopted as the basis for the alternative masterplan -

    (a) Build people orientated neighbourhoods;

    (b) Maximise the harbour amenity;

    (c) Ensure environmental quality;

    (d) Prioritise rail transit options; and

    (e) Accommodate housing demand.

Mr TOWNSEND said that there was a general agreement that the end of the existing runway should become a feature landmark development and that South East Kowloon should be developed into an accessible and attractive area for the benefit of residents and tourists alike. Waterfront usage and sea views should be maximised while parks should be focused on people's needs.

28. Mr Gordon ONGLEY added that it was essential that Hong Kong should clean up its waters and remain a "fragrant" harbour. The alternative masterplan should be considered along with institutional mechanisms. The Administration might need to look at the funding for transport infrastructure to allow for the provision of a rail system before the actual population intake. Consideration should be given to incorporating non-standard designs for public housing. LegCo should take a lead to facilitate these changes. Although the alternative proposal might not be the cheapest option, it would be in the interest of Hong Kong that the best solution should be chosen.

29. Mr James TO expressed his liking for the alternative masterplan, in particular, the creation of islands along the shorelines. However, he was concerned about the feasibility of the plan and the additional transport arrangements necessitated by the design of islands. In response, Mr TOWNSEND assured members that the design of islands was feasible. As those islands would cut into some of the runway surfaces, they would have the additional benefit of enhancing the water quality of nullah areas. The whole prospect of prioritising the rail base would reduce the number of roads. A hierarchy of smaller roads which would be more pedestrian friendly should be created instead.

30. Ir Dr John LUK said that the concept of the plan was based on the shorelines of Florida and California where a number of natural islands were found. These man-made islands should not be too costly to build but would appear artificial.

31. Miss Emily LAU supported SOM's proposal of giving priority to the rail based system as this would reduce the scale of road network. She said that the use of a rail based transit system as the backbone for transport as well as the creation of people-oriented neighbourhoods which were easily accessible by pedestrians were worthy of support. However, she had reservations about the proposed provision of shorefront property on the grounds that the shorefront should be left for the enjoyment of the general public and should not be reserved for private development which only the rich could afford. The proposed alternative plan differed significantly from the Administration's revised proposal in that the latter would provide for a waterfront promenade allowing enjoyment of a spectacular view of the harbour by the general public.

32. Mr K G KERR said the concept plan was flexible as far as housing development was concerned. With increased plot ratio and building density, it could be able to accommodate the original planned population of 320,000. The plan would also provide for more water frontages and the land created could be used for different purposes.

33. Mr Steven TOWNSEND added that the islands would all be surrounded by public promenades. At the corridor where Road T1 would be depressed, there would be a linear park along the shoreline which could be accessible by the public. Residents of both private and public housing development could be able to enjoy the water frontage.

34. Ir Dr Raymond HO pointed out the conflict between two of the key principles proposed by Swire Properties Limited, i.e. ensuring environmental quality and accommodating housing demand. Dr HO said that judging from the layout, the plan should be able to meet the housing demand but there appeared a lack of focus in development. Mr TOWNSEND said that the plan focused on the first phase of development at NAKTA and every phase would have its own identity. The proposed location of the Metropolitan Park at the centre leading out to the canal area would enhance the cooling effect and increase the natural breeze through the harbour.

35. Miss CHAN Yuen-han opined that the building developments proposed under the plan would encase SEKD and obstruct the natural breeze through the harbour. Mr TOWNSEND said that buildings could be designed with varying heights to prevent obstruction, thereby allowing air to permeate.

36. Responding to Dr TANG Siu-tong's enquiry about the need for reclamation, Mr TOWNSEND said that reclamation was needed to accommodate the original target population of 320,000. A lesser population intake might affect the financial viability of the rail system.

D. Response of the Administration

37. Mr LEE Wing-tat supported Miss Emily LAU's view that the water frontage should be reserved for public enjoyment. To enhance uniqueness and aesthetics of the development in SEKD, he suggested that the Housing Authority should consider adopting non-standard designs for public housing. He queried the merits of rigidly fixing the plot ratio of SEKD at 6.5. Mr LEE said that members need to reach a consensus on the development principles and urged the Administration to adhere to them. He hoped that the goals of SEKD could be achieved without compromising economic and development potential. The Chairman concurred on the need for consensus on development principles. He said that taking into account the views of professional institutes and members, the Administration should seriously consider the feasibility of the various principles put forward and advise members of its decisions.

38. Mr James TO agreed that flexibility should be allowed in SEKD. He opined that if properly designed, building developments could have a good view and at the same time accommodate many people. Impressed with SOM's proposal of creating islands and canals, Mr TO urged the Administration to explore its feasibility. While supporting that the waterfront should be reserved for public use, he was of the view that some supporting facilities should be provided in the vicinity of the waterfront promenade or the park areas so that they would not be isolated from the rest of the development

39. Ir Dr Raymond HO was concerned about the extent of reclamation, in particular along the runway area and the means of removing the runway given its thickness. To minimise the road network, Dr HO suggested the provision of a monorail system to service the area.

40. Miss CHAN Yuen-han echoed Dr HO's view and enquired about the possibility of retaining the Kai Tak Point to keep its heritage and of further reducing the extent of reclamation along the Kai Tak Nullah. She was concerned about the interface of trunk road T2 and Western Coast Road. Miss CHAN also asked whether the Administration would consider including redevelopment of Kwun Tong and San Po Kong in the feasibility study for the revised plan for SEKD.

41. In response, the Principle Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (PAS/PEL) made the following points -

    Land use

  1. The Administration had consulted the public on the choice of sites for commercial development. The Administration's view was that commercial nodes should be developed close to residential development to minimise the need for travel to work. The revised plan thus proposed two commercial nodes along the road network.


  1. The Administration was committed to developing a rail based system as the backbone for transport. The East Kowloon Line would serve the existing South East Kowloon area as well as SEKD. For any rail system to be financially viable, sufficient population was needed to maintain the ridership of this rail system. With the proposed reduction of target population from 320,000 to 240,000, the financial viability of providing a rail system would have to be re-assessed under the Second Railway Development Study. Members would be consulted on the outcome of the Study once it was completed. The Administration noted the general request for the provision of a rail system in advance of the population intake. However, the schedule of rail development should not be dictated by the progress of individual development and had to be planned from the territory-wide perspective.

  2. As regards the transport arrangement at the eastern part of SEKD, the Administration had looked at the possibility of providing a light rail system but considered this financially unviable on account of the relatively low ridership. Alternatives such as the provision of travellators and a system of submerged roads would be examined in the feasibility study. Full consideration would be given to providing pedestrian ways and integrating them with the transport plan.

  3. Road T2 would connect Tseung Kwan O and Western Coast Road. This would be a two-way four-lane road. The main purpose of Western Coast Road was to provide through traffic to and from the deep waterfront industries at Tseung Kwan O Area 137 without disturbing the residential areas. Apart from Western Coast Road, the 560,000 target population of Tseung Kwan O would be serviced by a mass transit rail network and a system of roads. The Administration was aware of the possible traffic impact of Western Coast Road on Lei Yue Mun. A study to look into the minimisation of its impacts on Lei Yue Mun was being carried out. As Road T2 would be running nearly parallel to the Kwun Tong Bypass and would connect Western Coast Road, it could not be depressed. Nevertheless, the feasibility study would look into the technicality of depressing certain slips roads to mitigate environmental impact.

Centralized water cool air-conditioning system

  1. The feasibility study would examine the possibility of providing a centralized water cool air-conditioning system for the commercial area in SEKD.

Plot ratio

  1. The Administration proposed an average domestic plot ratio of 6.5 for the housing development in SEKD. Since the population density of the public housing development at NAKTA would need to be higher, the possibility of increasing the plot ratio up to eight would be investigated. The plot ratio for developments near the waterfront would be lower to minimise obstruction of harbour view and a step-height concept would be applied.


  1. As regards the proposal of further reducing the Kai Tak Nullah Reclamation, it should be noted that the reclaimed area along the runway was expected to accommodate a population of 40,000. Without this reclaimed area, the population density in other areas would be higher. There was generally no objection to deck over the Kai Tak Nullah. The proposed reclamation at the Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter would mitigate the environmental problems associated the highly polluted engulfed water area.

Industrial developments in old districts

  1. The Planning Department was conducting a review on the redevelopment potential of old industrial districts and the mechanisms to facilitate redevelopment. The occupancy rate as well as the fragmented ownership of industrial developments would be considered. However, it was worth noting that based on the results of surveys, some occupants of old industrial tenements did not wish to relocate to other areas as this would require additional resources. The redevelopment of old industrial districts might drive out certain businesses, resulting in a loss of job opportunities. Members would be advised of the outcome of the review upon its completion in end-1999.
42. As regards the housing design, DS/H advised that the Administration would examine with the Housing Authority on the viability of introducing non-standard designs for public housing development. SEKD was one of the areas being considered in this context. Ir Dr Raymond HO requested the Administration to consider introducing a colour scheme for the housing development at SEKD.Admin.

43. Noting the Administration's advice that a target population of 240,000 in SEKD might not justify the construction of a rail system, the Chairman said that further thought should be given to accommodating more people in the area as both the institutes and the Swire Properties Limited had devised plans that could accommodate the original population of 320,000. He pointed out that the size of population was the most crucial factor for town planning. The conventional approach of planning on the basis of plot ratio should be reviewed. At present, developers tended to maximise the development potential by building as many units as possible. The living area per person was thus small. The Chairman suggested that instead of using plot ratio, the Administration should consider planning on the basis of population density.

V Any other business

44. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 4:55 pm.

Legislative Council Secretariat
29 September 1999