Hong Kong needs stackable housing on expanded Disneyland site, not a Dutch garden, lawmaker Andrew Wan says
Democratic Party member says the government is ‘mentally deranged’ and ignoring its own stated priority of easing the housing crisis, after commerce chief welcomes deal for European-style flower garden on Lantau Island site
Stacking prefabricated homes on a plot of land reserved for an expanded Disneyland would be better than the Dutch flower garden Hong Kong officials just agreed to put there, a lawmaker has said.
Democratic Party legislator Andrew Wan Siu-kin on Friday said the 60 hectare (148 acre) site could house enough homes for 50,000 people. He said the government was “mentally deranged” and ignoring its own priority of easing the city’s housing crisis.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah welcomed a plan to set up the Dutch-designed garden on the Lantau Island site, after witnessing the signing of an in-principle deal for the project during a visit to the Netherlands. Called Kaleido Park, the European-style garden would be the first of its kind in Hong Kong. It still needs Legislative Council approval.
“They went to the Netherlands to bring in flowers. But why not introduce the Dutch prefabricated homes?” Wan, a Housing Authority member, asked on a radio programme on Friday. “It is so ironic.”
Amsterdam has the world’s first and largest container campus, built in 2005 and home to more than 1,000 container homes for students. Hong Kong, the world’s least affordable property market, this year approved a housing project involving 90 stackable and prefabricated units in Sham Shui Po for poor families waiting for a public flat. Using modular housing on a larger scale has been floated as a way of boosting housing supply.
Yau said earlier that the modular housing would not be considered for the Disneyland site, as it was more of a long-term project and “not compatible” with the use of the reserved land.
But Wan said on Friday that if the government showed sufficient courage and vigour it could overcome that obstacle.
He said the units, stacked three to five high, would not block views from Disneyland and that the location was convenient, with a railway station nearby.
Speaking on the same programme, tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing supported the proposed garden and said it could attract tourists. But he agreed that part of the land could be released for prefabricated homes, if practical.