Consultants will be hired to carry out a cultural heritage impact assessment before the old airport site at Kai Tak is turned into a new town, legislators were told. Officials said the assessment was needed to investigate whether remains of the Kowloon Walled City could be salvaged from the site before it was developed. The first people are due to move into homes built at the site in early 2003. At the Legco planning, lands and works panel, officials said they planned to develop the site comprising Kai Tak airport and reclamation in Kowloon Bay in phases to accommodate a population of about 320,000. Legislators were told that work on site investigations and detailed design of infrastructure had to start in January. This would provide the supporting infrastructure to tie in with 'the very tight housing development programme' in the north apron area. Site investigation in the north apron area included the construction of about four km of box culvert and 0.8km of open channel to replace the Kai Tak Nullah; landscaping; and a cultural heritage impact assessment. The estimated cost of the proposed works is about $88 million at December 1997 prices. A government paper will be submitted to the legislature for consideration on September 23.