Report points to too much red tape

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 June, 1997, 12:00am

Population growth has been consistently underestimated and not enough homes have been built on each piece of land, resulting in a shortage of flats, a Legco report has found.

The Legco Secretariat report entitled 'Optimisation of Land Use', concludes that bureaucracy has caused delays in housing construction.

Housing panel chairman Lee Wing-tat urged the Planning Department to review residential density and increase the supply of flats.

'The Hong Kong planning standards and guidelines have not been reviewed for more than 10 years while our population has increased significantly. We are not short of land, but the land has not been best used,' Mr Lee said.

The research revealed more than a quarter of the zoned residential area in the urban areas and up to 96.4 per cent of the New Territories had a plot ratio of less than one.

'There is only 10 per cent of land dedicated for residential use, and farm land takes up six per cent of the total planning scheme area. The New Territories has much potential for development,' Mr Lee said.

The report also showed the Government had underestimated population projections for the past 15 years and lacked contingency plans to achieve original targets.