Further hurdle for government's plan to build 470,000 flats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 4:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 4:00am

A new obstacle has been thrown in front of government plans to build 470,000 flats in the next decade.

Kwun Tong district councillors yesterday threatened to oppose proposals to rezone nine sites in Kwun Tong to accommodate thousands of public and private flats unless they received more information on how the district's services would cope.

This followed similar reservations from councillors in Kwai Tsing last week and previously in Sham Shui Po and Tai Po.

"We need a holistic review of how our district can digest the flow of passengers and traffic created by the development," Kwun Tong district council chairman, Dr Bunny Chan Chung-bun said. "If it brings inconvenience, it's normal that everyone would come forward to oppose it."

Kwun Tong, as part of Hong Kong's largest urban redevelopment scheme, is transforming from a rundown neighbourhood into a bustling new commercial and residential district.

"We already have 700,000 people now in Kwun Tong," pro-government councillor Wilson Or Chong-shing said. "We'll have one million people after the development plans, putting heavy pressure on community facilities and traffic."

Undersecretary for Development Eric Ma Siu-cheung said reviews were still taking place at some sites to ascertain the likely effect of development on the district, including traffic and environmental issues.

"I promise that I'll cooperate with the Transport and Housing Bureau to solve the traffic issues," Ma said.

In March, the council gave the nod to a public housing project on Hiu Ming Street that will see a site of 11,300 square metres redeveloped between 2016 and 2021 to yield 1,100 flats.