Why rip up Fanling golf course for Hong Kong housing when there are better options?
- Why does Hong Kong need two racetracks? Happy Valley has all the necessary requirements for redevelopment: schools, hospitals and excellent transport links
I find it both irritating and understandable that the Hong Kong Jockey Club has remained silent about the current land supply debacle. The club’s various locations occupy huge amounts of land, and yet none of this has managed to catch the eye of the so-called task force.
There is absolutely no logical reason why Hong Kong has two racetracks. The Happy Valley area has all the necessary requirements for redevelopment – schools, hospitals and excellent transport links. The only reason we have two racetracks is because the fat cats who actually run this town (not the government) prefer a 10-minute drive from their cosy offices on a Wednesday night to watch the horses run in Happy Valley, rather than have to cross the gaping chasm of the harbour and go “all the way” to Sha Tin.
Are we really expected to believe that the Sha Tin track can’t accommodate two race meetings in a single week?
As we all know, gambling is a terrible vice that should be discouraged, so why are we making things far too easy for people to participate in this terrible vice and to fall into life-destroying debt?
In addition, the city’s major developers should be made to release their huge land banks for immediate construction, rather than be allowed to wait for decades for prices to rise before they build. There is also a huge area of available land in numerous locations throughout the city that could be developed, but which is being controlled by the PLA. Is anyone talking to them?
Given the percentage of people who actually play golf in Hong Kong, asking the general public to vote on whether to bulldoze some or all of the golf club at Fanling is like asking turkeys to vote no for Christmas! What would you expect them to say?
Before we go filling in the ocean or ripping up fairways, we should be developing readily available land, starting with the Happy Valley racetrack.
Richard Castka, Tai Po