District councillors and residents oppose housing plans
Olga Wong, Tony Cheung and Ada Lee
A government plan to rezone land for housing use yesterday ran into opposition from communities and a member of the Executive Council, despite the chief executive's calls for support.
In recent weeks Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has repeatedly urged members of the public and district councillors to sacrifice their own interests and support the construction of public flats in their neighbourhoods.
But in Kwun Tong, residents raised objections at a district council meeting when officials outlined four plans for new housing, including one that calls for 2,200 private flats accommodating 6,000 residents at the site of the former Cha Kwo Ling kaolin mine, which adjoins Laguna City, a major private estate.
The government also wants to rezone three other sites - in Ngau Tau Kok, Yau Tong and Lei Yue Mun - each less than a hectare. The first two could be designated for public flats and the third for private residential development. About 100 villagers from Cha Kwo Ling attended the district council meeting, fearing their ancestors' graves dating back 200 years would be removed.
A fifth site, in Diamond Hill, covers about seven hectares and was once home to Tai Hom village. Two options are being considered, both calling for the relocation of the village's historical structures to a new park and the reserving of space for an exhibition facility to be used by artists and the film industry. The first calls for the construction of 1,130 private flats and hotel and office developments. The second provides 1,580 flats, of which 860 would be subsidised.
But Wong Tai Sin district councillors want more subsidised housing, fearing the development of private housing will increase traffic congestion.
District councillor Mandy Tam Heung-man said the planned six residential towers of 34 to 40 storeys could block views. "I can accept new buildings that are 30 storeys or fewer ... I don't mind new buildings being constructed, but everyone would be happy if more thought was put into the height and density."
Among those objecting is Executive Councillor Starry Lee Wai-king, who is opposed to the housing plan in Yau Tong.
Separately, the government said part of the former Lee Wai Lee vocational education campus site in Kowloon Tong would be returned to the college for uses other than tertiary educational development.