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Future sites for reclamation unveiled

South China Morning Post – Jan. 4, 2012

The government on Wednesday proposed 25 reclamation sites around the coast of Hong Kong as part of efforts to increase the amount of land available for building.

The sites, which include the outlying islands of Cheung Chau, Hei Ling Chau and Lamma, could provide 1,500 hectares of artificial land, the government said.

The location of the sites was released on Wednesday, a month and a half after the start of a public consultation on ways to increase the land supply, which will end in February.

A Development Bureau official said the sites listed were only possibilities put forward for public debate.

Robin Li Kui-biu, a chief engineer in charge of harbour projects, said the sites were examples provided to assist discussion on the criteria for selecting sites, if reclamation outside Victoria Harbour was accepted as an option to increase land supply in the long term.

The consultation asks the public if they agree with eight proposed criteria for site selection, including; whether a project meets local needs, its environmental impact, and cost effectiveness.

No reclamation is proposed within the much-shrunken but now protected Victoria Harbour, or in Hong Kong’s marine parks.

Today’s list does include five sites in Tolo Harbour, two in Silver Mine Bay on Lantau Island, one in Sandy Bay on Hong Kong Island and several in Tuen Mun.

Other large reclamation sites on the list are at Beaufort Island, Peng Chau, Siu Ho Wan, southwest Tsing Yi and Lung Kwu Tang.

The government wants to create enough land to build 40,000 flats a year. It has said that, as well as providing land, reclamation would be a ‘green’ way to dispose of construction fill, much of which is now shipped to the mainland.

But environmentalists want the government to consider methods other than reclamation.

The chief executive of environmental watchdog Green Power, Man Chi-sum, said in November – when the consultation was launched – that priority should always be given to using abandoned or abused land in the New Territories.

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