Free up space in land-use debate for reclamation and park development

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 February, 2012, 12:00am


I agree with those correspondents who argue that we should use up all the land in Hong Kong before we reclaim more.

But do we really still have much free space in the New Territories? Due to the small-house policy, much of the land in this area is used to build these village homes.

The government recently announced projects in North District in areas such as Kwu Tung and Fanling North. These are in the most northern part of Hong Kong, so I am not convinced there is that much space still available in the New Territories.

To be honest, I don't think we should constantly blame the government for this; Hongkongers must share some responsibility. We do not want our country parks to be destroyed. Officials took note of those feelings and agreed not to develop 60 per cent of Hong Kong's land area. Also, we do not want any further reclamation of Victoria Harbour, so the government must avoid that area. Now, opponents argue against land reclamation outside the harbour. We must accept that Hong Kong has limited space. Other places, like Singapore, also use reclamation to create more land and yet we will not allow our government to do so.

Of course, I am not saying that reclamation is the best method. But at least we should first consider it and appreciate the government's efforts. With its latest reclamation proposals, it has tried to find a long-term solution to Hong Kong's problems. It is better than doing nothing.

Obviously, however, this is an issue that requires wider discussion with the public. Also, there should be discussion about possible development of some country park land. With a concerted effort, hopefully we can ease what seems to be a perpetual land-use problem.

Jonathan Mak Ka-long, Sha Tin