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Hong Kong housing

Why Fanling golf course is worst land supply idea from Hong Kong task force

  • It is a shame to tear down a world-class golf course. The otherwise vocal environmental groups should be strongly condemned for their silence on this issue
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2019, 8:24am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2019, 8:24am

The Task Force for Land Supply recently submitted its report to the chief executive. The report offers a wide range of recommendations and its chairman has urged the government to act quickly and draw up a blueprint for implementation.

Unfortunately, the report gave too little attention to the hurdles that might render its recommendations not viable or difficult to realise. First, the brownfield sites are largely scattered, and developing them for public housing may be economically unsustainable. Moreover, whopping sums of compensation may have to be paid to the landowners.

The same financial problem is inherent in any joint development of agricultural land with property developers.

However, the worst part of the report lies in its recommendation to claw back 32 hectares from the golf course in Fanling. Advocates for the idea claim that the facility only serves the enjoyment of the 2,000-odd members of the Hong Kong Golf Club, mostly tycoons and business elites. The report ignores the fact that this minority group is also entitled to recreational facilities, like ordinary citizens who are provided with facilities like basketball courts, football pitches and children’s playgrounds.

The city’s tycoons and business elites make a great contribution to the city through huge tax payments and the creation of jobs. What justification is there for the punishment?

In any case, it is a shame to tear down a world-class golf course where international tournaments are held every year, bringing joy and pride to the city. The otherwise vocal environmental groups in the city should be strongly condemned for their silence on this issue.

The only viable and effective solution to resolving the city’s housing problem is large-scale land reclamation, as proposed by the chief executive in her last policy speech.

Sam Wong, Chai Wan