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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25pm
NewsHong Kong

Number of homes at Kai Tak site must be doubled, says adviser

Housing crunch means plan for ex-airport site 'needs updating to relieve homes pressure'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2012, 5:42am

The number of new homes planned for the former Kai Tak airport site should be more than doubled, to 70,000 units, a key government adviser said yesterday.

Michael Choi Ngai-min, who sits on the Long-Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee, told an RTHK public affairs programme that the government needed to increase dramatically the amount of housing at the site to relieve the current housing crunch.

"The low-density development in Kai Tak could barely address people's basic needs," Choi said, outlining a plan that he said could raise the total number of flats far above the current 30,000 and accommodate a population of 120,000.

The proposal is the latest sign that the government may be reconsidering the existing plan for Kai Tak, which was approved in 2007.

Development chief Paul Chan Mo-po granted a review on the plan last month and, on Saturday, housing chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung suggested that the site still had room for more flats.

Choi recommended boosting the number of private flats by raising to seven from five the plot ratio for 27 hectares set aside for residential building. He said the number of public and subsidised flats could be raised by relocating a proposed sports stadium planned to take up more than 20 hectares close to To Kwa Wan.

The extra 39,500 units would be made up of 15,000 private, 17,500 public and 7,000 subsidised units, with a density equivalent to general housing estates in Kowloon, Choi said. The share of private flats would be lowered to 45 per cent from 55 per cent.

The proposals face opposition from the sports sector and town planners, who argue that any big changes would violate the consensus reached in a public consultation on the future of the site that lasted two years.

But Choi said the housing problem had become much more serious since 2007, with the waiting list for public flats doubling to 200,000 applicants from 100,000 five years ago.

"It's true that the plan is a result of the pursuit of a better quality of life for the public in the past few years," Choi said. "But we must opt for change when more than 30,000 households are living in sub-units and the younger generation cannot afford a flat."

A government source has said that the government is considering moving the stadium to Sunny Bay on Lantau Island, a suggestion met with huge opposition from the sports sector.

Sports sector lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok said he would accept a new site only if it was more conveniently located, had better facilities and could be completed before 2020.

"The stadium is a priority for our sector," he said.


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Any 18 year old puts his name down for public housing ....do all these children have the "right" to live in their own flat
Kai Tak is strategically located at the junction of a few densely populated districts, namely, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin, Ngau Tau Kok and Kwun Tong. In terms of convenience, the sport facilities here can serve much larger population than Sunny Bay. I think the quality of life should not be compromised so easily.
The increasing of housing at Kai Tak is probably needed. However I would recommend the government maintain the initial of Private to Government / Government Subsidized at the same ratio. Private flats should maintain 55%. This provides apartments for people to move up to from government housing that are in a desirable location. It has always proven to disadvantage Public flat owners when a large area of Public flats is grouped together without private flats. Tung Chung and Tin Shui Wai are examples of this. Maintaining a nice mix helps all. The government idea of pushing in more government flats into an area just creates a jungle of public flats together and does not give the younger generation aspirations of getting a higher education or to work harder. KEEP THE CURRENT MIX RATIO.
Having a sports stadium at Sunny bay would be perfect. There is very good public transportation with the Sunny bay MTR station really only acting as a switch over point to Disneyland. The only people who ever leave the station are discovery bay residents catching a bus home. There is lots of open space with very few residents. It is readily and quickly accessible to most parts of Hong Kong. There would not be complaints of traffic jams the road system is well developed, or loud concerts as few people live there. It would also fit in well with planned hotels on Lantau and the logistic business concept. Looks like there is no downside to moving the sports stadium to Sunny Bay.


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