Vacant Diamond Hill site may get homes, park and 'cultural street'

Plans to turn seven hectare plot into housing, park and 'cultural street' with rehearsal studios

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 3:20am

The government is floating two proposals to develop housing on a plot of land that has been vacant for 11 years in Diamond Hill.

The land was once home to Tai Hom village, where actor Qiao Hong resided in the 1950s along with other stars and directors. It was razed in 2001, and the available plot covers 7.2 hectares.

The site was originally slated to house a storage facility for trains that would use the Sha Tin to Central rail link, with residential and commercial buildings above it.

But the plan was put on hold after the MTR Corporation moved the facility to Hung Hom.

A source close to the Planning Department said yesterday the department had already prepared two options for a mixed-use development. The Wong Tai Sin district council will be consulted early next month.

District councillor Chan Yuen-han, who met the department regarding the plans about a month ago, said half the site was likely to be used for residential flats.

It was reported earlier that the site could be designated for subsidised housing or public flats. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has urged district councils in recent days to back public housing developments in their areas.

Chan said the other half of the site would be turned into a park that would connect with Kai Tak River.

Given the area's historical links to Hong Kong film, Chan said the department could also accept a proposal from the movie sector reserving some space, for instance, for a film museum and training facilities.

According to district council chairman Li Tak-hong, the site would contain a "cultural street" that provided space for studios for dancing and drama activities.

"Renting the industrial space in San Po Kong has become increasingly unaffordable for many artists, so the new plan is likely to resolve the problem," Li said, a point echoed by Chan.

"Prime sites in urban areas shouldn't be just used for building flats," Chan said.