Concerns over big MTR Corp housing estate

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 May, 2010, 12:00am

The government and the MTR Corporation are proposing to build 4,700 private residential flats on the site of the former public Wong Chuk Hang Estate, but the project's proposed building height has been opposed by district councillors there.

At the Southern District Council meeting yesterday, the MTR Corp's senior town planning manager, Rebecca Wong Chun-wun, told councillors that the corporation planned to construct 14 residential buildings on the 7.2-hectare site.

The flats will be an average of about 820 sq ft, the majority of them small to medium-sized units and 20 per cent sized about 540 sq ft.

The suggested building height was between 120 metres and 156 metres above sea level.

'Eight of the buildings will be taller than 140 metres, which will be higher than all of the buildings in Wong Chuk Hang ... and exceed the height restriction of 120 metres to 140 metres,' district councillor Tsui Yuen-wa said, voicing his concern about the project creating a wall effect in the district.

He was joined by other councillors who also questioned if the development plan would cause travel congestion in the area.

The proposed project will also include a railway station on the South Island Line, which is expected to be completed in 2015, a public transport interchange, a railway depot and a shopping centre with a gross floor area of 505,908 sq ft.

With a total gross floor area of 3,848,130 sq ft for residential use, the plot ratio will be 4.98, lower than the average of five to 10 times in the district, which is in the southern part of Hong Kong Island.

The plot ratio for non-residential areas is set at 1.7.

Maisie Cheng Mei-sze, deputy secretary for transport and housing, said four of the towers located near Brick Hill (also known as Nam Long Shan) would be higher and those nearer the sea would be shorter as it would look better if the buildings were not of the same height.

Cheng added that the apartments would house about 15,000 people.

Noting that the first batch of residential flats would only be available in 2018, Steve Yiu Chin, MTR Corp's head of town planning, said that a certain number of residents would be needed to support the railway line.

The councillors also hoped the project would also include public facilities, such as a large theatre and a swimming pool, for all residents of Southern District.

Most former residents were rehoused at Shek Pai Wan Estate.

Pushing the limits

The height restriction is currently stated at 120 metres to 140 metres

The suggested height, in metres, of some buildings in the plan is: 156