Government looks to build near national parks and proposed Kai Tai Sports Park gets inches closer to green light

Government commissions feasibility study into building on land bordering protected country parks

Hong Kong’s government has initiated the process of developing public housing on the border of designated country parks.

The Housing Society was recently instructed to carry out an evaluation of two locations on the fringes of the Ma On and Tai Lam Country Parks.

Hong Kong country parks

The two sites each cover 20 hectares and the government has commissioned the Housing Society (an NGO) to provide “objective analyses” on the proposed developments.

News of the project, first proposed back in January, was met with criticism in some quarters due to environmental concerns

However, Chief Executive CY Lueng has backed the initiative, arguing that Hong Kong simply cannot lose any more time in identifying land fit for development for social housing.

Leung has previously pledged to investigate possible opportunities to build near park areas to meet demand for public housing and non-profit elderly homes.

In December last year Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, Secretary for Transport and Housing, spoke of the challenges facing Hong Kong as the government admitted that it was likely to fall short of its stated target of building 280,000 public housing flats in the coming decade due to trouble sourcing enough land.

A spokesman for the Housing Society has looked to reassure the public that all regulations relating to environmental protections, country parks and town planning will be enforced.

HK$31.9 billion Kai Tak Sports Hub moves closer to project implementation stage

Despite controversy around its tendering process, the Kai Tak Sports Park is moving closer to project implementation stage.

Estimated at costing HK$31.9 billion to build, the ambitious project is part of the government’s desire to provide Hong Kong with genuine world-class sporting facilities.

The hub will include a 50,000 seater stadium, a 10,000 capacity indoor arena, a 5,000 seater public sports ground, a health and wellness centre, 40 lane bowling alley and a 3,000 square metre dining facility. Covering 28 hectares, it will also include 57,000 square metres of retail outlets and a 40 lane bowling complex.

Pencilled in for completion in 2023, the government is looking for the winning bidder to design, build and run the complex as a part of a 25 year contract. If the project gets the final green light, which is not guaranteed, it will be another significant project on the horizon for Hong Kong’s construction industry.