28 October 2016
The Fanling golf course occupies 170 hectares of the New Territories. Photo: HKEJ
The Fanling golf course occupies 170 hectares of the New Territories. Photo: HKEJ

Fanling golf course unsuitable for housing project, study says

The government has concluded that the golf course at Fanling is unsuitable for the development of housing, Singtao Daily reported Tuesday.

An official housing feasibility study found that only about 10,000 flats could be built on the 170 hectare golf course, which is managed by the elite Hong Kong Golf Club.

That number falls short of the target of 60,000 flats in the development plan for the northeast New Territories. 

Some people who oppose the plan to develop the northeast New Territories to ease housing woes have been asking the authorities to redevelop the Fanling golf course instead.

Even if flats were built on the site of the golf course, it would take residents 20-25 minutes by bus to get to the closest MTR station, the study said.

This suggested it would be difficult to create a new community there with convenient transportation, it argued.

Based on the initial results of the study, which began early last year, the Home Affairs Bureau has decided after a review of the operation of local private recreational clubs that the golf course is not suitable for housing development and has no intention of taking back the course for that purpose.

Meanwhile, it affirmed the golf course’s contribution to local sports development and that it should be open to the public.

Corporate memberships at the golf club change hands at between HK$11 million and HK$12 million each and are by introduction only. 

Non-members must pay at least two green fees of HK$2,000 each to book a round at the Fanling course, although there is a discount, subject to multiple restrictions, for Hong Kong ID holders.

The government aimed to use the feasibility study, which conducted research on a combined area of up to 5,300 hectares, to find a site that can be built into a new town similar to Fanling or Sheung Shui that can accommodate about 450,000 people and provide about 100,000 jobs.

Legislative Council documents show the authorities will present the study with its initial results to Legco’s panel on development in June before conducting a public consultation.

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