Relocation of water treatment plants considered in bid to find more land for housing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 7:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 8:11pm

The government has proposed relocating three water and sewage treatment plants to rock caverns to release more land for housing development.

According a document released for public consultation on Thursday, the facilities are a water service reservoir in Diamond Hill and two sewage treatment plants in Sai Kung and in Sham Tseng.

The three sites were included in a pilot scheme for rock cavern development and were shortlisted from 445 potential facilities studied earlier.

The Development Bureau said that in choosing the sites, it had considered the availability of nearby caverns, whether the utilities were too large to fit into the caverns, or whether the sites were too small to be useful.

The bureau said relocating the three facilities could free six hectare of land to build residential flats.

Also including in the consultation document are reclamation schemes for five coastal sites outside Victoria Harbour to provide a total area of between 470 and 730 hectare of land.

Hong Kong has been anxious to find more residential sites as property prices hit record highs recently.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po said at a press conference the proposals would build up a ’land reserve’ to help the city meet short-term demand.

“The government is determined to develop new land extensively,” he said.

The public consultation process, which started on Thursday with the release of the document, will last for three months.