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Advisory Council on the Environment

South East New Territories Development Strategy Review Preliminary Development Strategy

 

(ACE-EIA Paper 2/2001)
For Discussion





Environmental Assessment

Purpose

This paper presents the findings and recommendations of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Landscape and Conservation Assessment undertaken for the Study on South East New Territories (SENT) Development Strategy Review. A presentation will be given by the Planning Department and their consultants.

Advice Sought

2. To seek members' views on the findings and recommendations set out in the Environmental Assessment and the Landscape and Conservation Assessment papers.

Need for the Study

3. The South East New Territories (SENT) Study is intended to formulate a development strategy for the SENT sub-region within the planning framework set by the Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR) in 1998, which determines that the strategic growth areas of the SENT will be confined in Tseung Kwan O New Town with the rest of the sub-region predominantly for conservation and recreation. Since the future development of Tseung Kwan O New Town is under a separate study, the Feasibility Study for Intensification and Extension of Tseung Kwan O New Town, the SENT Study therefore focuses on Sai Kung District. The Study Area is shown in Figure 1.

4. The Study will recommend action areas for implementation of the Recommended Development Strategy, including the preparation of land use plans and outline development programmes for the proposed developments and associated transport and infrastructural improvement works.

Description of Development

5. The Study proposes a Preliminary Development Strategy (PDS), based on a selected option in favour of recreation and conservation with limited development. The PDS maintains the existing land use framework presented on town plans and comprises the following major proposals :
 

  1. designating Tung Lung Chau as a Country Park and extending Ma On Shan Country Park to cover areas of conservation value at upper Ho Chung valley;
  2. proposing a Potential Site for Marine Park near Shelter Island and a Potential Marine Conservation Area along the coastal areas of Tai Long Wan, Long Ke Wan, Bluff Island, Sharp Island and around Kau Sai Chau;
  3. protecting and enhancing the Tin Hau Temples at Sai Kung Town, Pak A and Tai Miu Wan; the Che Kung Temple at Ho Chung; the Sheung Yiu Folk Museum; and the Rock Inscription at Joss House Bay, Tung Lung Chau Rock Carving and Tung Lung Chau Fort.
  4. promoting Sai Kung Town as a "Gateway Centre" for visiting the district and a transportation hub for the SENT sub-region;
  5. upgrading boatyards in Hebe Haven;
  6. building an artificial beach to the south of the Clear Water Bay First and Second Beaches; and
  7. proposing "Inshore Water Recreation Area" at Tsam Chuk Wan, Sha Ha, Hebe Haven to Silverstrand, Clear Water Bay and Sharp Island.

Views of Environmental Working Group (EWG)

6. Members of the Environmental Working Group consider that the environmental assessments have identified broad environmental concerns of the PDS and some broad environmental issues. EIAs for individual designated projects would have to be carried out under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) to confirm the environmental acceptability of each project and would be subject to statutory consultation with the public and the ACE. The findings of this Environmental Assessment and the statements in this paper shall not pre-empt the statutory process under the EIAO. There are still some environmental issues, such as proposed residential developments at Tai Long and the proposed leisure link, that need to be further investigated to confirm their environmental acceptability.

7. Comments from the public and ACE will be taken into account in formulating the Recommended Development Strategy.

Specific Environmental Aspects to Highlight

Population


8. The PDS will incur an additional population of 6,600, with about 2,000 generated by the proposed rezoning of the industrial sites in Sai Kung Town for residential use and the rest contributed by the proposed upgrading of the obsolete areas at Sha Kok Mei and Ho Chung. The PDS, when fully implemented, will bring the total population of the Sai Kung District from the planned population of 96,400 to 103,000 in year 2016.

9. Further development and population growth beyond the PDS development proposals (103,000 persons) would, however, be subject to sewerage and transport capacities constraints.

Sewerage


10. There is currently a plan to upgrade the Sai Kung Sewage Treatment Works by 2007, which will be adequate to meet the demand up to 2016. Any further development proposals for Sai Kung beyond the population level proposed in the current Study would require a Sewage Impact Assessment . Close monitoring of the population growth in the Sai Kung district is required.

Transportation


11. The Study identifies the need for improving the transport capacity from Ho Chung to Sai Kung to cope with the future demand. A Client Project Brief proposed for widening of Hiram's Highway between Marina Cove and Sai Kung Town has previously been prepared. The Study reviewed the need for the proposed Hiram's Highway widening scheme and investigated various environmental friendly transportation (EFT) options for further examination in the future study. It recommends a comprehensive assessment be conducted with environmentally sustainability being one of the key considerations when formulating the options for improving Hiram's Highway's capacity.

Noise


12. Broad assessment indicates that the introduction of EFT would potentially reduce traffic noise on the sensitive receivers along the roads. However, EFT alone will not ensure compliance with the noise criteria. Therefore, other noise mitigation measures, such as exploring alternative alignment options, noise barriers, sunken and deck over road designs, and using low road noise surface treatment, will be taken into account in future new road projects and improving the existing roads.

I/R Interface


13. The proposed rezoning of industrial sites in Sai Kung town will eventually remove the existing Industrial/Residential (I/R) interface issue. The Environmental Assessment has identified the need for development control mechanisms in place to address the interim I/R interface problems during the course of redevelopment through statutory town plans.

Ecology

14. The PDS is formulated in advocate of conservation with limited developments only at suitable locations. With full implementation of the PDS proposals, areas having significant ecological value will be conserved or enhanced through extending the planning protection such as proposed extension of Country Park, establishment of a new Country Park, a new Marine Park, Marine Conservation Area and Fisheries Protection Area.

Comments from the Public during Public Consultation

15. Planning Department have made available a public consultation digest on the PDS for public consultation on 6 January 2001. Members will be briefed of the comments received from the Public.

Environmental Assessment and Noise Division
Environmental Protection Department
March 2001 

 

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