ABOUT $39 million could be saved if the Government grants the development rights for the Asian Games 2006 athletes' village to the Housing Society instead of private developers, according to a government consultant. The consultant also estimates that under the Housing Society scheme, once the Games are over the village could be sold for 55 to 65 per cent lower than market value. Pro-democracy lawmakers support the idea of granting the development rights of the village to the Housing Society, a plan which they say will benefit the public. The full report submitted by consultant KPMG says the athletes' village would include six 40-storey buildings, with eight flats on each floor. There would be a total of 1,850 flats and each would accommodate six people. The total gross floor area would be 140,000 square metres. The report recommended the most cost-effective way to build the athletes' village would be for a development agent, either a private developer or the Housing Society, to purpose-build the flats to be used for the Games and then later sell them on to the public. The development agent would likely pay a lower land premium, which represented the notional value of the potential premium forgone by the Government and is not included in the budget. It is estimated the Government will have to pay out $1.92 billion to host the Games and it stands to lose $945 million for the privilege. The consultant estimated the lost premium would be $378 million, at prices forecast for 2006, if a private developer was granted the rights. However, the deficit would only be $339 million if the rights were granted to the Housing Society, which pays lower-than-market premiums. The report estimated that the construction cost for the private developer would be $2.7 billion, excluding the land premium. It said that 'if the Housing Society is to be the developer, the Government could grant the land through a 'private treaty grant'. 'The Government would have more time to negotiate with the Housing Society on details of the plan,' it said. The Frontier's Cyd Ho Sau-lan supported the idea of granting the Housing Society the rights instead of a private developer. 'The land premium forgone is less,' she said. 'Also, the flats will be sold to the public under the Housing Society schemes. 'I would rather the land premium forgone benefit the Housing Society, which will sell its flats to the public at a price lower than the market value, rather than the developer.'