Housing blocks 'will stop wind flow'
A public housing project planned near the harbourfront will serve as a "huge wall", blocking wind flow to West Kowloon neighbourhoods, district councillors said yesterday, after changes to the proposal were revealed.
At the Sham Shui Po District Council meeting, local politicians learned the project would now include five 39-storey tower blocks - rather than the three outlined in a proposal issued in 2010. The number of rental homes on the site has now risen from 2,000 to 2,798.
Housing officials explained the changes had been made to meet new targets set by the chief executive.
Councillors said that as the blocks were parallel to the shoreline they would become a wind-block to Sham Shui Po. Councillor Frederick Fung Kin-kee said: "It's not good that the buildings are designed to be equally tall and aligned parallel to the coast like a huge wall. Can't [the department] make them different heights?"
Residents from four private nearby housing estates attended the meeting to object to the development, voicing the same concerns for air ventilation. They were angry their communities had not been consulted.
Rosa Ho Lok So-fun, chief architect of the Housing Department, said the density of the site near Nam Cheong MTR Station had been increased in response to Leung Chun-ying's policy speech last year.
The chief executive pledged to increase public rental housing from 75,000 to 100,000 in the five years starting from 2018.
She said a preliminary study by a consultant found the project would have a "slight" impact on the micro-climate of nearby areas, including four upmarket private residential estates.
A detailed "air ventilation assessment" would be conducted and submitted to the Town Planning Board at a later date, Ho added.