• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:48am
NewsHong Kong

1,000 extra flats may be squeezed into Kai Tak site, says Paul Chan Mo-po

Study suggests easing construction limits and reducing flat sizes to free up space for more homes in key Kowloon development project

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 5:07am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 10:43am

An ongoing government study into increasing office and housing space within the Kai Tak development area has suggested the site could provide 1,000 additional residential flats.

The extra homes could be squeezed in by easing construction restrictions and reducing flat sizes there, the development minister said yesterday.

The study is reviewing the development intensity (also known as plot ratio, calculated by dividing the net floor area of all buildings on a site by the net site area) of four housing sites in the North Apron area of Kai Tak.

"By increasing the intensity by 20 per cent and slightly reducing the size of each flat, the site could provide 1,000 more residential flats," Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po told the Legislative Council yesterday.

Public consultation on the findings of the study will be sought in the middle of next year, when it is expected to be completed, Chan said.

The Civil Engineering and Development Department had proposed a relaxation of development intensity for three sites. Plot ratio would be rise from 4.5 to 5.5, and the buildings' maximum permitted height would rise by 20 metres.

The Housing Department proposes that the maximum plot ratio of the fourth site rise from 5 to 6 and the maximum permitted height would increase by 20 metres. The gross building area would be enlarged from 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the available site area.

"These proposals can provide an additional 33,900 metre square domestic gross floor area, which would amount to an increase of about 22 per cent over the original planning of these four residential sites," Chan said. Technical assessments will be carried out to ensure the proposals meet the original design concept and would not overload infrastructure like transportation, water supply, drains and sewers, according to the secretary.

"We would also carefully consider any possible extra strain on leisure and community facilities, or any impact from unwelcome noise, bad air quality or poor ventilation," he added.

Bernard Lim Wan-fung, president of the Institute of Urban Design, believes it is reasonable for the government to look into ways to readjust the development intensity at Kai Tak, given the serious housing shortage in Hong Kong.

Lim said the city had taken more than five years to reach the consensus that new towns should be more sustainable - a key principle in the planning of the Kai Tak development, which will feature a large park, a sports complex and relatively low housing density.

"But the housing problem has become much more serious since 2007; the waiting period for public flats is doubling," Lim added.


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I went to visit a relative recently who just moved into a brand new government house. I am so glad they could not understand English when my kid asked to leave because the place is so small. It was very small and 3 people had to live there (0 privacy). I have no idea on why the government can't make them a tiny bit bigger. No privacy at all. No wonder no one in Hong Kong are having kids.
You go outside and there is nowhere to go, nowhere to relax, no fun. So they all just stay inside.
I count myself lucky that I have a spacious apartment, clubhouse, swimming pool and other places to relax. I just wish the other 80% of Hong Kong could have space to relax and breath fresh air. We must keep Kai tak and other places open for the people.
Paul Chan shows once again he is in the pocket of the property developers. He is using Development Bureau to enable them to peddle their sub-standard, over priced, shoe boxes. In the Country Parks he is the cat's paw of the Heung Yee ****, dishonestly twisting the enclave policy to allow thousands of "small houses" which will destroy the Country Parks and enrich the developers in the biggest land scam in HK's history.
I am very disappointed with the government of Hong Kong. Kai Tak is the final area in Hong Kong where they can build something beautiful that people will be proud of. Open space where people can walk and kids can play. A place that is not just a 20 foot while pathway along the water but really a place too see the sky. Every other countries builds beautiful places for its people in the centre of the city.
But Hong Kong government just wants to fill every space with apartment buildings.
The only thing that is off limits is the small house policy where people who do not deserve a 2000 sq foot house are given 1 for free. These people were not here 120 years ago. They are not indigenous and most don't even live in HK.
The government must stop wasting our open space and must protect Kai tak by keeping to the plan.
God courses and small house policy must be removed first before removing the open space that will be enjoyed by kids. Soon there will be none left and everyone will be depressed and a looser!!!
The small house policy is not off limits, but Paul Chan is not curbing it, instead by perverting the enclave policy he is driving an unprecedented scale of small house building in the Country Parks, no less than thousands of houses which will destroy our places of natural beauty. The vast majority of small house applications are a scam where the indigenous villager applicant sells his "ding" right to a developer and then applies to Government for permission claiming he wants to live in the house. Alternatively, the villager sells the house immediately it is built.
So let us estimate that 1/3 of 150 immigrants (50) under the family reunion policy settling daily would need housing that 1000 units would account for 2000 of those immigrants at 2 for each unit. It would only take 40 days of supply of migrants to gobble the 1000 units all up. Yet the government takes more than 40 days to come up with these 1000 units.
Never mind creating housing for the current shortage. The government is continuing CREATING shortage. Very quickly I assure you that the country parks would all chipped away.
It is the artificial demand problem and not a supply problem in housing shortage in Hong Kong.
The importation of migrants under the family reunion policy was of good intention initiated in the colonial time when I guess only few men from Hong Kong created a family in mainland. But the humanitarian policy had been hijacked shortly by local property developers in continuing such policy despite a fundamental change of livability in mainland. The service sector too is now jumping into it as a source of cheap labor. While the developers are eyeing to develop the country parks, the service sectors are eyeing the mainland shoppers coming to Hong Kong. Obviously all are smelling money for their disregards of Hong Kong's well-being.
But, I don't understand why CY Leung wouldn't terminate the family-reunion policy immediately since he beholden to no Hong Kong special interest groups? You think if it is another confidential issue and decision already made by the Executive Council? Explain to the public otherwise, please.
Who can any longer pretend that these moves are not driven by the property cartel which is subverting and corrupting every area of government with decision making powers? This will go on until the people have no open spaces or recreational facilities at all.
Who really cares what Paul Chan thinks or says anymore?...................most people just want him to disappear for good.
Unfortunately he is still in office and able to do a great deal of harm.
I think most HK citizens now loathe with the talking about "small plans" of Secretary for Development in resolving the housing problem of HK. If the SAR Government really means to tackle with the housing problem, the whole Kai Tak development area should be devoted to build public housing rental estates! The SAR Government should notify immediately the Golf Club that it should cease operation in Fanling and that the area will be used to build public rental housing estates! Do something "bold" to convince HK citizens that you really mean what you say, rather than just as the Chinese saying "You can see the motion of body without whitening the rice"!




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