KCRC scales back West Rail project

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 12:00am

Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp (KCRC) has scaled back a residential project along West Rail due to security concerns about People's Liberation Army flight practices at Sek Kong military air base.

The company has reduced by 9 per cent the size of the development at the proposed Long Ping Station in Yuen Long. It will build five 25-storey residential towers over a five-storey podium.

The project was approved by the Town Planning Board yesterday. A board spokesman said the height of the Long Ping project had been restricted to 100.1 metres above principal datum.

Analysts said the height control was designed to avoid creating obstacles to flights at the Sek Kong base. Without the restriction, the Long Ping buildings would have been able to rise to 40 to 50 storeys.

The development at Long Ping will provide 654,000 square feet of residential space and 75,300 sq ft of commercial area.

Analysts said the scale was translated into a plot ratio of 4.55, 9 per cent below the maximum plot ratio of five for the site.

The planning board spokesman said Yuen Long was the area mainly affected by Sek Kong flights, but there was at present no general guideline to regulate building height in the affected area. The board would assess cases on an individual basis.

She said the building height of the Long Ping project could not be used as an indication for a generally acceptable height.

It was not known when a guideline would be formulated, but the Security Bureau would continue its consultation with government departments, she said.

It is understood that developments at Long Ping Station and Yuen Long Station had previously been put on hold pending a government study of possible restrictions near the Sek Kong base.

Meanwhile, Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) yesterday secured approval to increase the number of flats at its redevelopment at Lai Chi Kok bus depot by 27 per cent by cutting the unit size.

The project will now provide 1,278 flats instead of 1,000 flats, while the total residential area remains unchanged at 998,000 sq ft. The average unit size will be 780 sq ft, down from 998 sq ft.

KMB buildings will also rise to 44 storeys, instead of 34 storeys.