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Advisory Council on the Environment

Remaining Development in Tung Chung and Tai Ho Comprehensive Feasibility Study (CFS) Recommended Outline Development Plan

(ACE Paper 06/2000)
For discussion

Recommended Outline Development Plan

PURPOSE

The purpose of this paper is to brief Members on the findings of the Remaining Development in Tung Chung and Tai Ho Comprehensive Feasibility Study (CFS).

BACKGROUND

2.The Tung Chung New Town, consisting of two districts viz. Tung Chung and Tai Ho, has been identified as the territory's ninth New Town. The North Lantau Development Study (NLDS) completed in 1992 recommended an ultimate population of 260 000 beyond 2011 for the New Town. This population target was subsequently reviewed and revised to 320 000 by 2011 under the Territorial Development Strategic Review (TDSR) in 1996. The objective of the CFS is to investigate the feasibility of intensifying the New Town for achieving a target population level of 320 000 by 2011. The CFS is a designated project under the Schedule 3 of the EIA Ordinance.

3.Phase 1 development, located in Tung Chung Central, has been completed. Phase 2 development in Tung Chung West is underway. The remaining developments of the New Town are planned to be implemented as Phases 3 and 4.

4.We consulted the professional institutes/green groups and Islands District Council on the current Recommended Outline Development Plan (RODP) in January 2000. There are no objections to the plan from the parties consulted.

5.The NLDS Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study was endorsed by the then EPCOM in 1992 and the EIA report has been placed in the EIA register under the EIA Ordinance.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

6.The CFS recommends a total population of 320 000 by 2011 for the New Town, comprising a population of 240 000 in Tung Chung and 80 000 in Tai Ho. Phases 1 and 2 are planned to accommodate a population capacity of 88 000 while Phases 3 and 4 are planned to accommodate a population capacity of 232 000. About 42 000 local service jobs will be provided within the New Town. The population increase is achieved by increasing the intensity of residential developments around the MTR stations, the addition of a new district at Tung Chung East and the rezoning of the land earmarked for industry at Siu Ho Wan under the NLDS to residential.

KEY FEATURES OF THE RODP

Planning Concept

7.The New Town is planned as a rail-based development with high density development located above and around the MTR stations and the transport nodes, medium density development located near the waterfront and the low density development located in the valleys. Density of the development decreases towards the fringe of the New Town and the valleys to complement a transition of character from urban development to rural areas and to avoid high density development in the valley which is subject to air recirculation problem. To maximize the seaview, air movement and penetration of natural light, stepped down building height concept has been adopted and enhanced three dimensionally throughout the New Town.

8.A landscape window is provided between the districts of Tung Chung East and Tai Ho North by widening the embayment areas at the estuary of Tai Ho Bay. Moreover, view corridors and breezeways are provided. The landscape window, view corridor and breezeways provide uninterrupted views to the waterfront as well as the permeability of the New Town.

9.To maximize the preservation of ecological resources, the reclamation of Pak Sha Tsui Island and Tai Ho Bay considered under the NLDS have been deleted. In Tai Ho Valley, no new development is proposed except the expansion of the few existing recognized villages. The village zones in Tai Ho Valley are so planned as to avoid village type development being close to the Tai Ho Stream Site of Special Scientific Interests (SSSI), habitats of high ecological values and the archaeological site at Pak Mong. A stream buffer zone is also provided along Tai Ho Bay and the Stream.

10.Historical structures with heritage interests including Hau Wong Temple, Tung Chung Fort and Tung Chung Battery will be retained. Also, archaeological sites at Pak Mong and Sha Tsui Tau will be preserved. All existing villages except Ma Wan Chung Village, Sha Tsui Tau Village and Wong Nai Uk Village will be retained.

11.The New Town will be supported with a wide range of community facilities, including schools, sports stadium, police station, fire station, and a regional hospital serving the whole of the Lantau Island. Open spaces network has been designed to maximize the connectivity between the Country Park, valleys, town park and the waterfront promenade. The key access points to Country Park have been identified and linked with the existing trails.

Traffic and Transport

12.In addition to the existing MTR station in Tung Chung Central, the CFS recommends three proposed MTR stations which are located in Tung Chung West, Tung Chung East and Tai Ho. High density development is planned to be located within the walking distance from the MTR stations and connected to footpath and cycle track network to maximize the use of rail service, hence reducing road traffic. A zero emission transportation system has been proposed along the waterfront promenade for internal transport cum tourism use and there is scope for better integration with the proposed MTR stations if this is considered to be desirable in future.

Environmental Issues

Air Quality and Noise

13.The development of the New Town is restricted by the existing transport infrastructure including the North Lantau Highway, the airport railway and the distributors which are considered as major air pollutant and noise sources. To reduce the road traffic and to minimize the air and noise impacts, the New Town has been designed as a rail-based development with high density development being located above and around the MTR stations. A section of Road P1 in Tai Ho North will be depressed with a cover and there will be no waterfront roads except Road D5 in Tung Chung West which will only be constructed when needed. The third crossing to airport island considered under the NLDS has been deleted and an environmental friendly transportation system has been proposed along the waterfront promenade.

14.All development will be located outside the Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) 25 contour, which is taken to be an acceptable level of impact from the aircraft activity. To ensure the planned developments complying with the established traffic noise standard, mitigation measures including setbacks, low noise road surfacing, vertical barriers, cantilever barriers and site-specific building orientations have been recommended. Also, trackside barriers have been proposed along the airport railway. Only a few percent of dwellings would need insulation to deal with the residual traffic noise impact.

15.To improve the air quality of the New Town, breezeways are provided in Tung Chung and Tai Ho. Amenity strips are provided as buffers along the roads to minimize the effect of the vehicular emissions. The cumulative impacts from the aircraft operation and the road traffic have been assessed and the results indicate that the planned developments will comply with the established air quality standard.

Ecology

16.Preservation and conservation of ecological habitats and their dependent species is one of the prime objectives of the CFS. To achieve this, the reclamation at Pak Sha Tsui and Tai Ho Bay considered in the NLDS have been deleted and the extent of reclamation in Tung Chung Bay has been reduced. With the removal of reclamation at Pak Sha Tsui Island, the loss of 16 ha. of sub-tidal habitat is eliminated and the flushing capacity of the airport sea channel is improved. Moreover, the risk to the seagrass communities in the San Tau SSSI will be minimized and the potential ecological impacts to the rare horse shoe crabs due to the loss of sub-tidal habitats will be reduced. An opportunity is given to the creation of compensatory intertidal habitats at Tung Chung off the edge of the new reclamation to replace habitat loss due to reclamation. At Tai Ho South, the ecological environment will be preserved and will therefore remain intact. Most of the areas in Tai Ho Valley have been zoned as "Conservation Area (CA)" or "Countryside Conservation Area (CCA)" for conservation purpose.

17.In summary, the ecological impacts arising from the planned developments are considered to be acceptable. Specific ecological elements which have been considered in the RODP include:

  • Protection of Tai Ho Stream through SSSI zoning, establishment of a stream buffer zone and provision of sewerage connections to the villages;
  • Protection of Tai Ho Bay and preservation of stream-sea ecological interconnection through deletion of reclamation of the bay;
  • No new development proposed in Tai Ho Valley to preserve the ecological environment;
  • Adoption of stream buffer zones and retention of natural river bank along much of Tung Chung Stream to protect the stream and its fauna;
  • Reduced reclamation in Tung Chung to minimize loss of bay habitats and protect seagrass communities in the San Tau SSSI; and
  • Protection of fung shui woods and marshes of high ecological values in Tung Chung and Tai Ho.

ENVRIONEMNTAL BENEFITS OF THE RODP

18.The RODP would provide the following benefits:

  • Minimization of noise exposure and air quality impacts as a result of reduced road area, covering of road, and provision of rail service and an environmental friendly transportation system;
  • An interesting silhouette of buildings against the mountain backdrops as a result of a three dimensionally stepped down building height profile;
  • Maximized preservation of the ecological assets and landscape integrity of Tai Ho Bay and Tai Ho Valley;
  • Minimization of ecological impact in Tung Chung Bay and the risk to the San Tau SSSI;
  • Improvement of air quality through provision of breezeways in Tung Chung and Tai Ho;
  • Enhanced visual permeability by providing a landscape window between Tung Chung and Tai Ho; and
  • Improved accessibility to the country park with provision of direct links to existing trails.

FURTHER ACTIONS

19.The RODP will be finalized, taking into consideration where appropriate the views of the Members and the parties consulted;

20.The EIA Study Report will be finalized for submission in March 2000 under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) for implementation of Tung Chung and Tai Ho phase 3 developments; and

21.The Recommended Outline Zoning Plans (ROZPs) and Layout Plans will be finalized and a briefing on the Study will be given to Town Planning Board (TPB) in April 2000. Planning Department will prepare the outline zoning plans for submission to TPB.

ADVICE SOUGHT

22.Members are invited to express their views on the RODP.

Territory Development Department
Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office
February 2000

 

 

 

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Last revision date: 28 April 2006