Developers to benefit from higher ratios in Yuen Long

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2000, 12:00am

Henderson Land Development and New World Development will be among the developers to benefit from a recent Town Planning Board ruling over Yuen Long Town South's development potential.

The board decided two weeks ago the sites zoned Residential (Group B) on the southern side of Yuen Long new town should have higher plot ratios.

Under the ruling, a 17 per cent increase in development scale is possible as plot ratios for these sites would rise from three to 3.5. However, the decision will be subject to public consultation during gazetting.

'About six to seven sites totalling 30 hectares of land will benefit from the ruling,' said board spokesman Wilson So.

Developers Henderson, New World and Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) can capitalise on the change because they have land banks in the area.

Mr So said the upgraded area is within the southern side of Ma Tin Road/Ma Tong Road, the eastern side of Shan Ha Road, the northern side of Yuen Long Highway and the western side of Yau Tin Road.

This meant the board's decision would benefit land within Areas 13 and 14 of Yuen Long, he said.

Sources said Henderson and New World had a project next to Tai Tong Road spanning 8.2 hectares of agricultural land to be converted into residential use.

Thanks to the board's ruling, the developers can raise the scale and build as much as 3.09 million square feet of gross floor area.

New World also has a project of about two hectares of agricultural land near Yuen Long Town Park, which is to benefit from the ruling as well.

Besides the need to apply for government approval to convert the land into residential use, the developers will have to pay extra premiums for the conversion in accordance with the size and floor area of the development.

Yuen Long Town South is becoming a residential area as major developers accumulate land banks and build new projects there.

SHKP has completed its Grand del Sol and Villa Premiere projects on the eastern side of the area.

On the west, Paliburg Holdings has built Villa Art Deco while SHKP has completed its Parkside Villa.

A Planning Department's town planner said the Yuen Long New Town's target population would remain at 211,000 after its full development despite the rise in plot ratios for the area.

The area's target population was 63,000 years ago, when the Government did not have a detailed infrastructure development design for the new town. That dropped to 57,000 after a data-based calculation.

The recent Town Planning Board's ruling to raise the area's plot ratio aims to help bring the new town's population back in line with the target.

The northern side of Yuen Long New Town will probably experience changes in town planning as well.

With a surge in applications from the industrial sites in Tung Tau Industrial Area for rezoning into residential use, the Town Planning Board instructed the Planning Department to conduct a land-use study of the area several months ago.

No recommendations over Tung Tau will be made before the study is completed.

Tung Tau is one of the most under-utilised industrial areas in Hong Kong as shown in its high vacancy rate.

If the area is deemed more suitable for housing than manufacturing, a massive revamp in Yuen Long will be needed in future.