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Major Lantau reclamation project unveiled

2018-10-10 HKT 12:02
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  • Major Lantau reclamation project unveiled
Richard Pyne reports
The Chief Executive has unveiled a major reclamation project called "Lantau Tomorrow Vision" – under which about 1,700 hectares will be developed to provide homes for 1.1 million people.

Lam said this will make the city's largest island a gateway to the world as well as the Greater Bay Area.

This development will include the creation of an artificial island that will swallow up the smaller, neighbouring island of Kau Yi Chau – an idea that's been known as the East Lantau Metropolis, and has been touted by the likes of former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's think tank, but heavily criticised by conservationists.

The original plan to develop an East Lantau Metropolis would create just 1,000 hectares of new land that could house 700,000 people; whereas Tung's think tank had proposed a much more ambitious proposal to develop 2,200 hectares of new land for 1.1 million people.

Lam said her "Lantau Tomorrow Vision" will provide between 260,000 and 400,000 residential flats. She said 340,000 jobs would also be created over the next two to three decades.

But reclamation work is not expected to start until 2025, and the first batch of flats will only be available in 2032.

She acknowledged that this was a long-term vision though, and to address pressing housing problems, the government will speed up studies on turning brownfield sites in the New Territories into housing.

There was also mention in the Policy Address of efforts to better utilise private land for both private and public housing. And to allay concerns about the potential for collusion with developers, Lam said no less than 60-to-70 percent of this land must be used for public housing development.

Lam acknowledged that there is no "perfect solution" for finding more land for housing and economic development, but said divergent views shouldn't be an obstacle. She said failing to act will bring greater suffering to poor families living in overcrowded environments.

The government-appointed Land Supply Task Force only completed its five-month public consultation two weeks ago, and a full analysis of the community's views is due at the end of the year.