Limits on future sites to stop wall effect: official

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 February, 2008, 12:00am

All sites under the next land-sale list would include planning rules to prevent the so-called 'wall effect', a top official said yesterday.

He also said more sites would be made available this year.

But lawmakers want further action to minimise the phenomenon through trimming the scale of development along West Rail, including the Tsuen Wan West station.

Not all sites for sale in the past had specific limits governing height and maximum gross floor area.

Sites under the next List of Sites for Sale - likely to be announced early next month - will have more restrictions.

'This is the first time that all sites will have clear restrictions,' Permanent Secretary for Development Raymond Young Lap-moon told legislators yesterday. 'In the past, only minimum gross floor area was specified. It is to prevent developers taking advantage of the loopholes.'

Mr Young also said more sites would be available, addressing developers' demands. The government added 10 new sites to the sales list last year, making a total of 47 sites available for application.

Legislator Patrick Lau Sau-shing said people got the wrong impression that sites of lower density would be sold for less.

'Those sites will sell more because the environment around them is better,' he added.

Lawmakers said yesterday they were concerned about development density along the West Rail, including at Nam Cheong, Yuen Long and Tsuen Wan West.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced in his policy address last year that the government would review the density of the developments above the Nam Cheong and Yuen Long stations.

Lawmaker Chan Wai-yip said yesterday the government should review developments along other stations, including at Tsuen Wan West.

Three sites totalling 9 hectares are designated for development at Tsuen Wan West station. Twenty high-rises of 41 to 61 storeys along the coast at Tsuen Wan are proposed for the station.

Mr Young said the government might review the development, adding the new plans for Nam Cheong and Yuen Long stations would be released for public consultation before June.