Lam dismisses Kai Tak housing rumours

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 October, 2012, 1:46pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 October, 2012, 5:41pm

The government will stick to its original plan to build a sports complex in Kai Tak, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Friday, after several days’ uncertainty on the issue.

Lam dismissed speculation in media reports this week that the planned sports complex would be moved away from Kai Tak to make way for the construction of more homes there.

At a press conference on Friday, she acknowledged that officials had discussed other possible uses for the sports complex site. But they concluded that sports remained the best option, she said.

“The initial conclusion was that it is difficult build a large number of flats at a site that has already been designed for sports use,” she said

“I hereby clarify, and formally make our stance clear, that the government will continue to take forward our original plan for the sports complex at Kai Tak.”

The Kai Tak project aims to provide a high quality of life with low density and open space, in an urban setting for 89,800 residents. It will also be home to a world-class sports complex and cruise terminal.

The sports complex plan calls for a main stadium with a retractable roof and 45,000 seats, a secondary stadium with 5,000 seats, an indoor sports arena with 4,000 seats and other leisure and recreation facilities.

This week, media reports said the government was looking to move the proposed HK$19 billion stadium to Lantau Island, to make way for more flats in Kowloon City. Critics of the sports project said affordable housing had a higher priority.

Top rugby official Trevor Gregory has urged the government to press ahead with the Kai Tak sports hub, so the city can pursue its ambition of hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup.