New site for public flats in Tai Po overlaps SHKP project

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 4:33am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 4:33am

A property developer's plan to build more than 1,000 flats in Tai Po may be affected after the government changed its housing blueprint for the district, earmarking a site for public flats that overlaps the company's proposed development area.

Sun Hung Kai Properties intends to build 1,144 flats on 1.97 hectares along Chung Nga Road, to the west of Hong Chi Pinehill Village, under the administration's original blueprint to develop eight sites providing both public and private homes.

But the government has now marked out a new site in the same area - covering 1.67 hectares - that will produce 1,700 public housing flats.

It dropped another site, located on Pak Shing Street, that was to yield about 150 flats after district councillors expressed opposition. The adjustments were made after consultation with the Tai Po District Council's environment, housing and works committee last month.

District councillor Francis Yam Kai-bong voiced concerns about overcrowding, as another site on Chung Nga Road, adjacent to the area under contention, was also one of the eight sites in the blueprint.

"I would welcome the proposal if the government is to take land that would be used for private housing to build more public flats," Yam said.

"However, if both the 1,700 public flats and the roughly 1,200 private flats are to be built in the same area, it will be overcrowded as the government's plan also involves the building of 5,400 flats on the adjacent site."

The initial blueprint was to build up to 10,020 public and private residential flats on a total area of 26 hectares.

Under the revisions, the eight sites would together offer about 11,130 flats, the Planning Department said in its latest paper.

The overlapping land is currently zoned as a green belt and for government, institution or community purposes.

In December, SHKP applied to the Town Planning Board to rezone the land for residential development. It sought to construct six blocks that would house 1,144 flats and a clubhouse.

The extent of the overlap was unclear in a comparison between the maps in the developer's application document and the latest government paper.

Yam said he would ask officials for more information.