Date
18 January 2017
Kaizer Lau (inset) said a public housing project with 30,000 units can be built in a small portion of the Tai Lam Country Park. Photos: HKEJ, HKGov
Kaizer Lau (inset) said a public housing project with 30,000 units can be built in a small portion of the Tai Lam Country Park. Photos: HKEJ, HKGov

HK govt urged to tap Tai Lam Country Park for public housing

A former housing policy adviser to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the government can develop a small portion of the Tai Lam Country Park as a pilot project for public housing.

Kaizer Lau Ping-cheung, a member of the housing steering committee that helped draft Leung’s election platform in 2012, told Sing Tao Daily that about 60 hectares (6.45 million square feet) in the northeast part of the park is suitable for a public housing project with 30,000 units.

Designated in 1979 and occupying 5,412 hectares of woodland in the Western New Territories, Tai Lam Country Park is Hong Kong’s second largest country park that covers an area from Tsuen Wan to Tuen Mun.

Lau, who is a surveyor, said development cost would only be around HK$8 billion (US$1.03 billion), based on a field investigation by his team of experts.

The area, which is located at the edge of the park, is close to roads and railways as well as the Kam Tin South new zone, which is being planned for development starting 2018.

Their simultaneous development can create economic synergy, Lau said.

Although the incumbent administration does not intend to redevelop country parks into housing areas, Lau suggested that it launch a study which can be considered by the next government.

A committee composed of government representatives, scholars, scientists, environmental groups and planners should be set up to come up with appropriate boundaries of the country parks based on their sustainability, he said.

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