Critics slam 'ad hoc' New Territories housing plan - RTHK
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Critics slam 'ad hoc' New Territories housing plan

2020-01-21 HKT 21:29
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  • Advocates say an overall, strategic approach is needed for the New Territories. File photo: RTHK
    Advocates say an overall, strategic approach is needed for the New Territories. File photo: RTHK
Environmentalists have criticised a government plan to partner with developers to build on vacant agricultural land, saying it may harm the environment and the farming industry.

Under the Land Sharing Pilot Scheme, property firms can apply to increase the development density of their private farmland, but at least 70 per cent of the increased floor area has to be handed to the government for public housing or starter homes.

At a Legco meeting on Tuesday, various deputations from the conservation sector said the scheme lacks proper checks.

Paul Zimmerman from Design Hong Kong said an holistic approach is needed for the New Territories: "If you compare this with normal planning ... where we have new development ares, we land use reviews with community input, we do planning reviews with community input, we do engineering studies with community input, we do outlier development plans with input from the community.

"There are several rounds of planning that allow people to give input and that also allow for good strategic planning," he said.

"And that is what we need for the New Territories; we don't need more ad-hoc planning, we don't need more chaos. We really need to get our hands around the entire New Territories, put a strategic plan in place and work from that."