Paul Chan

PLA military sites targeted in bid to ease housing crisis

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 9:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 3:49am

The development minister said on Wednesday an underused barracks could be turned into a site for private residential flats as the city was seeking more land to increase the housing supply.

But a legislator said this would involve complex procedures as such a move had to be approved by the central government under a Hong Kong law.

At a Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday, Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po said planning officials could study using a Kowloon Tong site that formerly housed the People’s Liberation Army for new housing.

The suggestion was raised by industrial sector lawmaker Lam Tai-fai. Lam asked why the government was planning to build private residential flats on a former school site while leaving a nearby barracks underused.

Lam said the government could use a 16-hectare military site on Renfrew Road as an alternative to the former Lee Wai Lee College site, where the adjacent Baptist University wants build student hostels.

Chan, responding to Lam’s suggestion, said: “We will not rule out any possible means of increase the land supply. We will follow it up.”

Under the Garrison Law, the Hong Kong government must obtain the approval of the central government if the city wants to use any land already in use for military purposes by the PLA Hong Kong Garrison.