One of the most valuable residential sites in Hong Kong, originally earmarked for mixed development including government-subsidised housing for lower-income families, will all be sold to private developers. The prime waterfront site, where the Housing Authority's North Point Estate once stood, will be surrendered unconditionally to the government for sale, the authority's strategic planning committee agreed yesterday. The committee also agreed not to pursue the government for any compensation, a controversial move that seemingly means an informal agreement between the authority and the administration will not be honoured. The decision - likely to please developers who had argued the site was too valuable for subsidised housing - was reached after a two-hour discussion by committee members. Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng Yu-wah, the authority's chairwoman, said the committee had taken into account all factors, including what would be the best use of the land, which some surveyors earlier said was worth at least HK$16 billion. But one committee member, Wong Kwun, voiced dismay over the turnaround, saying: 'The government had agreed to pay compensation if the site had to be taken back. I do not think the authority should back down.' Mr Wong said he would raise the issue at the authority's next full council meeting. Ms Cheng said after the meeting compensation had been discussed on the assumption the authority might be financially affected if the site was taken back or that it could affect its supply of public housing land. But the authority now had about HK$57 billion, projected to grow to HK$70 billion in 2011, and the government had promised to provide enough land for public units. The North Point Estate saga dates back to 2002 when the strategic planning committee decided to join forces with private developers to clear the ageing estate and share profits after the site was redeveloped. The developer that acquired the site was to have handed back 25 per cent of the residential floor area - 800 to 900 flats - to the authority for public housing. In late 2002, the authority was forced to scrap the so-called mixed development plan amid government policies to boost the property market. It was reported to have been promised compensation equivalent to the revenue it would have obtained had the mixed development plan gone ahead.