• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:26pm
NewsHong Kong

Government ‘will not withdraw’ HK$120b new towns building plan that sparked Legco storming

Minister 'unhappy' at protest outside Legco and says work on new towns will start in 2018

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 June, 2014, 6:30pm

The government has no plans to call off a controversial development in the New Territories, but all are welcome to take part in the public debate around it, Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po said yesterday.

"Construction won't begin until 2018. If anyone has any opinions or matters for discussion, we still have this time and space to discuss," Chan said.

The HK$120 billion project has raised the ire of villagers whose homes will be razed in order to make way for two new towns in Kwu Tung and Fanling North.

Hundreds of protesters stormed the Legislative Council building on Friday, clashing with police as they tried to force their way into a Finance Committee meeting where members debated a HK$340 million interim funding request.

Speaking in a television interview yesterday, Chan said he was unhappy about the protest and was "worried for Hong Kong".

He accused some lawmakers of misrepresenting the revised government plan, which would produce about 60,700 flats roughly half earmarked as public housing.

Chan said Town Planning Board approval for the government's proposed outline zoning plan was not guaranteed, and that some of the interim funding could go to waste if the board decided to change or reject the plan during vetting. But he said, "the risk [of that] is not high".

Cheuk Kai-kai, a member of the Joint Committee of Fanling North Villages and Residents, criticised the government for seeking funding from Legco's Finance Committee before a decision by town planners.

"Although the funding is for preliminary work, we all know that when the engineering work begins, the villagers … will be subject to nuisance from excavation and drilling," she said.

But Chan said it was normal practice for the government to simultaneously apply for funding for pre-construction engineering work while waiting for town planners' approval. He felt it was unfair for the government to be accused of ignoring the opinions of stakeholders.

"You cannot say that just because something is not to your liking - for example some are demanding no demolition or relocation - … that we never consulted you," he said. "I think this is not fair."


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This article is now closed to comments

Yes we will always need housing but not by selling all our land reserves at once which CY Leung and Paul Chan are doing now. What are we leaving for our children? If we allow them to continue selling our land at the current low prices, at the end of the day, its the property developers, and people like CY Leung and Paul Chan that have hidden agendas and personal interests tied to this would get very very fat! We need housings restricted for the Hong Kong people only, the Government gave in to the property developers when they scrapped the programme. Both Paul Chan and CY Leung should step down!!
Get over it! Unless everyone in this hot pot gets a vasectomy or tubal ligation they are going to live like nomads in the wild without shelters. Instead of being a member of the animal farm and pointing fingers why don't you all admit we need housings. How we get there is irrelevant but just get there.
For once think macro and get off your liberal high horses and hear what the Valcuns would say: “The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few”
Paul Chan personification of how sick and wrong our Government has become.
In no other government will someone who has had so many questionable acts and transactions still be in his post.
What he needs is to be fired, not resign, but obviously, if CY fires him, CY will have no one left who supports him.
On another note, doesn't "Construction won't begin until 2018. If anyone has any opinions or matters for discussion, we still have this time and space to discuss," Chan said." just mean "We're not going to listen to you, but you can continue talking to a wall if you want."
He is an embarrassment period.............never mind the profession part.
Are these people against development in general or are they just unhappy that it is taking place at their backyard? If it is the latter, then they are just merely a group of NIMBIES. In the late 1970s, when the govt. proposed to develop Shatin as a new town, many locals were opposed to it as well. But if the govt. shelved the plan back then due to opposition where would the 600,000 or so people of Shatin be living in now?
The proposed new town in the NE NT doesn't make sense from a transport or logistic point of view. There are better places to build such as Kai Tak or Kwai Chung (after moving the terminals towards the border). There are many areas of Kowloon filled with decrepit buildings prime for redevelopment and densification. Many people commute from the NT to work in Kowloon or the Island so why not build housing closer to where people work? Such a remote location means more rail lines, roads and infrastructure when we have those already in place close to the urban areas.
there are long queues waiting for the heavily subsidized public housing. we need land to build it and also we need to sell land to finance it. for those who are against selling lands, can you tell me how the government can find the money to pay for the development given land sales is a core income source. development will affect someone and they should be compensated reasonably. the recent administration is not doing his job well but it is not an excuse for the planned violence which has to be condemned. nonetheless our media and those pan dem fail to tell us what is right or wrong.
Step down Paul Chan!
THIS is violence.




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