KCRC seeks extra property rights

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 12:00am

The KCRC has asked the Government for extra property development rights at the Lok Ma Chau spur line station in Kwu Tung to help cover Long Valley tunnel costs.

Sources close to the Government confirmed an informal request was made to the administration last month.

The approach came after an appeal board ruled out a previous viaduct option, forcing the corporation to embark on the more expensive tunnel option.

One source said the talks included more flexibility in the size of the site or floor space at Kwu Tung station. This issue was raised for later consideration.

KCRC director of East Rail extensions, Lee Kang-kuen, yesterday confirmed the talks, but would not give details.

Another well-placed source said no position had been taken by the Government on the KCRC request.

'They have tested the waters, but the thing has been left for further discussion,' the source said.

A site comprising several hectares has been mapped out in Kwu Tung new town for the KCRC station concourse. According to the original plan, the rail company can develop the site into a station and a residential and retail complex.

Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan yesterday warned that granting the rail company more development area could disrupt town planning and create congestion at Kwu Tung.

'I think the Government must be careful when deciding to subsidise the tunnel costs by way of property development profits to the rail company,' Mr Lee said.

'Although we do not want to see fare rises as a result of the tunnel costs, giving the KCRC higher density may lead to zoning up of the whole town. A series of social problems will follow.'