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Hong Kong housing

Residents want public housing built on Hong Kong golf course site, survey finds

Some 70 per cent of respondents to poll said Fanling course was taking up too much land

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 January, 2018, 9:17pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 January, 2018, 10:56pm

Close to three-quarters of residents feel that a 170-hectare golf course in Fanling is occupying too much land, while 56 per cent feel that the government should use the area for public housing, a survey has found.

The poll was conducted by the Democratic Party between December and January this year by phone. A total of 1,076 responses were recorded.

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin said on Sunday that the survey found an overwhelming 70 per cent of respondents felt that the Hong Kong Golf Club was using land resources excessively.

Wan pointed out that the size of the Fanling golf course is equivalent to nine Victoria Parks.

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On how respondents hoped the plot of land would be used, 56 per cent said it should be for public housing, 12 per cent for private residential use, 17 per cent for government or community facilities, and six per cent for other purposes. Only nine per cent said the land should remain unchanged.

The Home Affairs Bureau is now reviewing some 67 private recreational leases involving 400 hectares of land across the city.

The Fanling golf course is leased to the Hong Kong Golf Club until August 2020. The rent for 2016/17 was HK$2.4 million (US$307,000).

The survey also found that 79 per cent of respondents felt that the government should regulate the land use period for private recreational leases, such as those for golf courses. Wan said that the Home Affairs Bureau typically awards periods of 15 years or 21 years.

“The figures are clear, the government should take back the golf course for housing development,” Wan said.

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He also urged the government to quickly complete the review of the private recreational leases and explore the option of having a model of 10 years of fixed-term tenancy and 10 years of periodic tenancy.

The government-appointed Task Force on Land Supply would meet on Saturday to discuss whether private recreational sites, including golf courses, should be considered for development to ease the city’s housing shortage.

The meeting was postponed from last Tuesday to give the government more time to prepare papers for the discussion.