District councillors have dealt a setback to government plans to build about 13,500 public flats in Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi.
Kwai Tsing council unanimously passed a motion yesterday opposing rezoning 13 sites selected for the flats unless traffic and other issues were resolved.
Councillors said the sites - nine of which lie on slopes next to existing homes - were unsuitable. The motion covered all 13 sites although details of only five, to be developed in the next two years, were presented.
Officials said they were still studying the other eight, but councillors urged them to look at other sites elsewhere instead.
"We are already opposing [them]. Don't waste your time studying them. We don't want to waste civil servants' time," Alice Mak Mei-kuen of the Federation of Trade Unions said.
The latest setback came after the Audit Commission last month questioned the government's ability to deliver on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's pledge to build 200,000 new public rental flats by 2023.
The most controversial site, on Container Port Road in Kwai Chung, drew concern over air and noise pollution hazards.
"We have noted your opinion on the Container Port Road site and will study the issues involved, including whether the noise problem can be solved," Undersecretary for Development Eric Ma Siu-cheung said.
Asked if he was confident the government would meet its public housing target, he said: "We won't be deterred by hurdles."