14. Under the “Hong Kong 2030 Planning Vision and Strategy”, we will have sufficient land to meet our housing needs if we optimise the use of existing development areas and new towns, and develop the Kai Tak Development Area and other new development areas in the northern New Territories. Nevertheless, housing land has been in short supply over the past few years because of a number of challenges in land development, including the re-planning of southern Tseung Kwan O to lower its overall density, adopting “zero reclamation” for the new design of the Kai Tak Development, reviewing high-density development projects, and tackling various problems arising from statutory procedures.
15. These challenges must be overcome if we are to implement the concept of “progressive development” that I advocate. After several years of strenuous efforts, a consensus has been reached in the community –– Hong Kong must not stay put. Having carefully considered the opinions of different parties and striking a balance as far as practicable, we must put development plans into action. The Government should also think out of the box to review existing land uses and explore new land resources. We have completed a study on industrial sites across the territory, and proposed to rezone about 30 hectares of land for residential use. We have also lowered the threshold for compulsory sale of land for redevelopment to facilitate the redevelopment of more old buildings. Later, we will consult the public on the proposal for reclamation on an appropriate scale outside Victoria Harbour to generate more land in the long run. In addition, we are devoting resources and expediting internal procedures to make more residential sites available to the market. Next year, for example, we plan to put out to the market the former North Point Estate site and the Ho Man Tin site returned by the Housing Authority, as well as other sites in various districts including Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O. Also, we will speed up infrastructure construction at the Kai Tak Development Area so that some residential sites in the area can be made available to the market earlier, in 2015.
16. Last year, I pledged to monitor changes in the private residential property market, fine-tune land supply arrangements and discuss with the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) ways to quicken the pace of bringing residential sites to the market.