Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Friday that the decision to expand a proposed mega reclamation project in waters off Lantau was not "politically driven", adding that she was not involved in increasing the area to be reclaimed from 1,000 to 1,700 hectares.
Speaking on RTHK's English phone-in programme on Friday morning, the Hong Kong leader said she was only presented with the proposal by planning and technical colleagues.
The government's proposal, previously known as the East Lantau Metropolis, was originally to reclaim 1,000 hectares to house up to 700,000 people, but that has now been increased to 1,700 hectares and as many as 1.1 million people.
A proposal by the think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation, which was founded by former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, had recently called for a 2,200 hectare island that can house a population of 1.1 million.
Lam said the government had not been comparing or checking notes directly with the foundation, nor other relevant commentaries.
She said the work about mapping out the development of the Lantau area had been going on for some time, and officials had been paying attention to the views of different groups.
The Chief Executive said the Development Secretary, Michael Wong, would give more details about the plan on Friday afternoon.