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Hong Kong housing

Happy Valley is much more than racing: it’s not the answer to Hong Kong’s housing crisis

  • The racetrack encircles sports pitches which provide vital facilities for the public, not to mention a jogging track and fitness stations
  • Consider industrial brownfield sites and developers’ land banks instead
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 8:37am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 8:37am

I write in response to Richard Castka’s rather short-sighted view that the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Happy Valley racetrack should be redeveloped for flats (“Before ripping up Fanling fairway for housing, look at better options”, January 7).

Mr Castka fails to mentions that the racetrack encircles no fewer than 11 sports pitches, which provide vital facilities for the public, not to mention a jogging track and fitness stations that are used 24 hours a day.

In a city that is chronically short of outdoor space for people of all ages to engage in sport and exercise, losing these facilities would have a catastrophic impact on clubs, teams and individuals who use the Happy Valley pitches for football, rugby, hockey, American football, ultimate frisbee, Aussie rules and myriad other sports and recreation activities.

The Hong Kong government has an almost impossible task in addressing the land supply issue, but the immediate-term solutions surely lie in the development of industrial brownfield sites and activating the land banks currently hoarded by developers who are complicit in the housing crisis. Destroying the few high-quality sites used for public sport and recreation is not the answer.

Dan Parr, Pok Fu Lam