Response to Policy Address 2014 – Object to Hysterical Land Exploitation

Response to Policy Address 2014 –
Object to Hysterical Land Exploitation

Develop properly but not blindly
Development in East Lantau should be reduced to preserve the precious peace of Mui Wo and Peng Chau
The issue is not lack of land supply, but flats are affordable
Green Marks for Policy Address: 20 marks (Fail)

There are a crazy number of land exploitation methods in dramatic scale proposed in the Policy Address 2014. Even if there is significant demand for housing in Hong Kong, we believe the need of increase of land reserve should at the same time be balanced with adequate recreational spaces, community facilities, breezeways of the city and the conservation of eco-environment.

Roy Tam, Chief Executive of Green Sense remarks, “The government is trying more and more fiercely to obtain land but with “blind” eyes. Mr. C.Y. Leung is determined to turn Hong Kong into a huge construction site, contrary to his another goal of air quality improvement.” Such Policy Address is to declare war against the environment and the ecological system. We give it 20 marks as regards to its environmental aspect. In other words, it clearly fails.

Mr. C.Y. Leung proposes that, except for the north of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula, which are more densely populated, the maximum domestic plot ratio for all other areas should increase by 20%, which was worrying. There is high density of multi-stories buildings in Hong Kong. There is already too deep and too common an impression of “Concrete Forest” for Hong Kong. Many newly developed areas are designed to have lower density than the Kowloon Pennisula in order to provide a better quality of life and living environment. The proposal contradicts the current town planning principles and is sloppy.

Sai Kung and Lantau Island are gardens of Hong Kong people. Unfortunately, North Lantau has fallen in recent years (as construction of massive infrastructure in progress). Now, the Eastern of it may be developed to “Eastern Lantau Metropolis”. Such policy suggestion is not cost-effective and non-environmentally friendly. If it is to build an artificial island, it will surely cost thousands of billions. Mui Wo and Peng Chau are also famous holiday attractions for Hong Kong people and are quiet places to live in. Therefore, we in principle oppose reclamation and development of the “Eastern Lantau Metropolis” in the eastern waters off Lantau Island and neighbouring areas.

The issue of housing is not the lack of land supply and therefore the resolution is not the increase of the same. The major problem is that flats constructed are simply unaffordable. Such problem cannot be solved by increase of land supply to the developers, as they would hoard the new supply or to develop luxurious flats, as it is what they usually do with the current pieces of land. The price of flats will still be very expensive anyway.

It is regrettable that there is no mention of the capacity of Hong Kong in the Policy Address. If we are to tackle housing problems, not only should we look at the supply of land, but also the population growth.