Quarry to house 30,000 people

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2011, 12:00am


A Kowloon hills quarry will become home to 30,000 people, with rock caverns being used for leisure and retail use after it closes in 2016, under Planning Department proposals.

The Anderson Road Quarry, between Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O, will provide a 40-hectare platform for development, the same size as the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Planners also suggested 80 per cent of the future flats be allocated to the private sector, an idea that caused debate at the Sai Kung District Council briefing yesterday.

Chief town planner Fiona Lung Siu-yuk, told the council the department's vision was 'to reshape the Anderson Road Quarry site into a green and liveable community that meets territorial, district and local needs'.

She said the public housing component could be either conventional rental homes or fall under the government's new My Home Purchase Plan rent-to-buy programme.

However, councillors disputed the ratio of homes between the private and public sectors.

Councillor Ng Shuet-shan said public housing should make up the majority of the development. 'This is such a prime site. It should not fall into private developers' hands and become another batch of luxury flats,' he said.

Christine Fong Kwok-shan said the site should be used for the Home Ownership Scheme, which the government would probably revive, to build subsidised flats for sale.

Other councillors said private homes should take the lead because areas surrounding the quarry, Kwun Tong and Lam Tin, were already dominated by public housing.

Work on a public housing project that will house 48,300 people has already started on the quarry's edge.

Lung said the proportion could be revised, depending on feedback from a three-month public consultation which started yesterday.

Apart from residential development, a rock cavern, with an opening at least 300 metres wide, would be developed for use for wine cellars, restaurants and possibly a spa, the department said.

Two options have been recommended for the rest of the land. One gives more space to retail and entertainment use, and features a 15-hectare park, while the other provides for government and community facilities, with less commercial use.

Choy Chak-hung, a Kwun Tong district councillor, said there were concerns the development would increase traffic on main roads in Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O.

The department suggested adding an escalator and lifts to connect the quarry to Kwun Tong town centre and expanding sections of the roads.