This file photo taken on May 24, 2018 shows people playing golf at the Hong Kong Golf Club's Fanling golf course. (PHOTO / AFP)
HONG KONG – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Thursday granted a conditional approval of an environmental impact assessment report on the partial development of Fanling golf course for public housing.
The Hong Kong government gazetted the draft Fanling/Sheung Shui Extension Area Outline Zoning Plan last year.
The plan proposed the development of public housing with 12,000 units at the northernmost portion of the 32 hectares of land east of Fan Kam Road in Fanling Golf Course, while the southern portion will be reserved for conservation and recreational use.
In a statement released on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Development Bureau said the Town Planning Board will arrange public hearings on the draft plan.
The draft Fanling/Sheung Shui Extension Area Outline Zoning Plan proposed the development of public housing with 12,000 units at the northernmost portion of the 32 hectares of land east of Fan Kam Road in Fanling Golf Course, while the southern portion will be reserved for conservation and recreational use
The Planning Department will recommend to the board to seek an extension for the deadline for submission of the draft plan to the Executive Council by six months to Nov 30, 2023, to allow sufficient time for the board to complete the hearings and deliberation process, the spokesperson added.
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The spokesperson noted that the DEP’s approval came with certain conditions.
One of them indicated that, as the project proponent, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) should review the layout design, building height and development density of the public housing development, to preserve the woodland within the housing site as far as possible and minimize its impact.
The CEDD was also required to submit to the DEP for approval documents on the proposed revised layout design of the public housing development and tree preservation, landscape and visual aspects, the spokesperson added.
Regardless of the progress of the town planning process, the short term tenancy covering the 32 hectares of land will expire on Aug 31, 2023, and the government will take back the relevant land on Sept 1, 2023 as planned, the spokesperson said.
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The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will be responsible for the management of the land, including the northernmost portion earmarked for public housing development until it is handed over to the CEDD for the start of the housing project, the spokesperson said.