MONTHLY REPORT OF SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENTS

The Monthly Report of Sustainability Assessments (SA) lists the titles, brief descriptions and sustainability implications of new public policies and proposals that went through the SA process and were made known to the public through LegCo briefs or press releases etc during the report period. Internet links to the relevant background documents are also provided.


REPORT PERIOD : February 2014

Draft Wan Chai North Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 28 February 2014, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Wan Chai North Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use framework to guide the development and redevelopment in the Wan Chai North area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed "Comprehensive Development Area" zone would help preserve flexibility for a development above Exhibition Station for convention and other commercial related uses, together with the railway station facilities, a public transport interchange and other supporting facilities, which would strengthen the strategic convention and exhibition function of Hong Kong. Other amendments are mainly technical, or to reflect the existing completed development, and would therefore unlikely have significant sustainability implications. Nevertheless, the differing concerns and views on the amendments from various stakeholders would be handled with care.


REPORT PERIOD : January 2014

Increasing Residential Development Intensity as Appropriate [LegCo Panel Paper]

As announced in the Policy Address 2014, the Government considers that except for the north of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula which are more densely populated, it is feasible to generally increase the maximum domestic plot ratio (PR) currently permitted for the other "Density Zones" in the territory by around 20% as appropriate. The increase in maximum domestic PRs will not compromise relevant planning principles and considerations, and will be adopted only when there is scope in terms of traffic and infrastructure capacity, and the various constraints and impacts so arising, if any, could be addressed through appropriate measures. Under this initiative, individual housing sites will be able to provide more developable floor area. This can help maintain a stable supply of developable housing land and gradually realize the long-term vision to increase Hong Kong people's "elbow room".

Sustainability Implications: The proposal will help maintain supply of land for housing, commercial and other uses, thereby supporting the continued population growth and developments of Hong Kong. This should facilitate the provision of land resources to meet the need and aspirations of the population, both now and in the future. Nevertheless, the proposal may lead to "wall-effect" and also have potential air ventilation and visual impacts. Necessary measures should be put in place to overcome, mitigate or minimise any potential environmental impacts so arising. The concern of the public, in particular the sentiments of stakeholders, should also be handled with care. Detailed sustainability assessment should be conducted in later stage when project-specific information is available.

Partial Lifting of Pok Fu Lam Moratorium for Public Housing Development [LegCo Panel Paper]

In the Policy Address 2014, the Government announced the partial lifting of the administrative moratorium in the south of Pok Fu Lam area to facilitate the redevelopment of Wah Fu Estate and provision of additional public housing. Six government sites are involved: four sites near Chi Fu Road, north of Wah Fu Estate, Wah Lok Path and Wah King Street, which are currently vacant or put to open space or short-term uses and are considered readily developable; the existing Wah Fu Estate; as well as a "Green Belt" site nearby (i.e. Kai Lung Wan). It is estimated to provide about 11 900 additional public housing units. The Government would also actively consider constructing the South Island Line (West) to address the transport needs arising from the new public housing developments.

Sustainability Implications: The increase in supply of public housing units will help lower the housing costs for those who could not afford private housing and meet the need and aspirations of the population. Nevertheless, the proposal may have potential traffic and environmental impacts. Necessary measures should be put in place to overcome, mitigate or minimise any potential environmental impacts so arising. The concerns of the public, in particular the sentiments of stakeholders, should also be handled with care. Detailed sustainability assessment should be conducted at a later stage when project-specific information is available.

New Arrangement to Meet the Education Need of Cross-boundary Students under the Primary One Admission System [Press Release]

The purpose of the revised arrangements under the Primary One Admission System is that the demand for Primary 1 places from applicant children residing in the eight school nets close to the boundary control points will be taken into account, and the cross-boundary students will be diverted to more districts and sufficient school places will be made available to them.

Sustainability Implications: The proposal will help meet the transient demand for P1 school places arising from those Type II babies which would reach its peak between 2016/17 to 2018/19 and then progressively decrease to a stable level until 2020/21. Views from various stakeholders on the proposal should be handled with care.

Draft Tsuen Wan OZP No. S/TW/29 and No. S/TW/30 [Press Release]

On 17 January 2014, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Tsuen Wan Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved Tsuen Wan OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide development and redevelopment within the Tsuen Wan area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The imposition of building height restrictions and non-building area/building gap requirements in various development zones would generally help address public concern on avoiding massive and out-of-context developments, maintaining the local character and facilitating air ventilation in the Area, which are in line with the sustainability principle to improve the environmental quality of Hong Kong. Other amendments are technical in nature, which would unlikely have sustainability implications. Nonetheless, the differing concerns and views from various stakeholders may remain and should be handled with care. The proposed "CDA(7)" zone for residential cum commercial development would increase the supply of residential flats. Suitable mitigation measures would be adopted to mitigate any possible adverse environmental and traffic impacts resulting from the amendment. The differing concerns and views on the amendment from various stakeholders should be handled with care. Other amendments to the OZP, which are technical in nature, will not have significant economic, environmental and sustainability implications.

Draft Cheung Sha Wan Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 10 January 2014, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Cheung Sha Wan Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved Cheung Sha Wan OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide development and redevelopment within the Cheung Sha Wan area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The rezoning of the Tonkin Street site to "Residential (Group A)" zone would expedite and increase the supply of public rental housing units, which is in line with the sustainability principle of providing equitable social infrastructure for the low-income groups. The other amendments mainly to facilitate a private residential development and a commercial building are in relative smaller scale. There are differing concerns and views from various stakeholders especially those relating to the clearance of the Wang Cheong Factory Estate, which should be handled with care.

Draft Kwu Tung South Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 17 January 2014, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council has approved the draft Kwu Tung South Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide development and redevelopment in the Kwu Tung South area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The rezoning of the sites to "Residential Group C (2)" and ‘Comprehensive Development Area" would produce land for low-rise, low-density house development. There are concerns on the potential environmental and ecological impacts including the potential impacts on the local rural landscape character, and impacts on the abandoned meander and mitigation woodland. Relevant impact assessments should be conducted and mitigation measures should be implemented to minimize the potential impacts. The differing concerns and views on the proposed amendments from various stakeholders should be handled with care.

Approved Pak Sha O Development Permission Area Plan [Press Release]

On 17 January 2014, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Pak Sha O Development Permission Area Plan (DPA). The approved Pak Sha O DPA provides guidance for planning and facilitates development control within the Pak Sha O area during the period required for detailed analysis of the land use pattern, study of infrastructural provisions and examination of development options for the formulation of an outline zoning plan (OZP). The approved DPA plan was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The DPA Plan provides a stopgap measure to effect development control and planning guidance for the Area, which would protect the natural and rural landscape, the ecologically sensitive areas and historic buildings there from degradation. This would contribute positively to the environmental quality and preservation of cultural heritage in Hong Kong. Another sustainability assessment will have to be undertaken when the appropriate zonings are finalized with detailed analysis and studies. The differing concerns and views from various stakeholders should be handled with care.


REPORT PERIOD : December 2013

Regulation of the Property Management Industry [LegCo Brief]

To introduce a mandatory licensing regime to both the company and individual levels of the property management industry.

Sustainability Implications: The proposals would have no significant sustainability implications. The proposals would help raise the level of professionalism and service quality of the property management, and promote the concept of maintaining building safety and value through continuous effective building management. In long term, the proposals would contribute to the broad goals for achieving a sustainable urban living environment.

Draft Peng Chau Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 13 December 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Peng Chau Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment within the Peng Chau area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed amendments would facilitate the development of a small number of low-rise and low-density residential units. There are concerns on the changes in the local character and landscape setting of the area. Measures including sensitive site layout planning and landscaping proposal should be implemented to reduce the potential impacts. The differing concerns and views on the amendments from various stakeholders should be handled with care.

Draft Clear Water Bay Peninsula North Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 13 December 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Clear Water Peninsula North Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment within the Clear Water Bay Peninsula North area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed amendments would facilitate the development of a few low-rise houses. There are concerns on the possible adverse environmental impacts including traffic noise and air pollution impacts. Appropriate mitigation measures should be implemented to minimize these environmental impacts. The sustainability implications are local and insignificant. The differing concerns and views on the amendments from various stakeholders should be handled with care.

Draft Tsim Sha Tsui Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 13 December 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Tsim Sha Tsui Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide development and redevelopment within the Tsim Sha Tsui area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: Rezoning of the "Government, Institution or Community" ("G/IC") site for commercial development represents a better utilisation of land resources. The rezoning will reduce the land available for provision of GIC facilities in the district. The overall sustainability implication is insignificant.

Second phase of the development scheme at Peel Street/Graham Street, Sheung Wan [Press Release]

This development scheme, having a total area of about 5 267 square metres and covering Site A, Site B and Site C, was included in the URA’s business plan for 2007-08. Its implementation will help improve the general environment of the locality while preserving the local character and blending the old with the new. A total of 36 private property interests will be resumed under the Lands Resumption Ordinance in this second and last phase which covers Site A and Site C located at Gage Street, Graham Street, Peel Street, Wellington Street, Gutzlaff Street and Staveley Street. In July 2012, the land at Site B was granted to the URA for the first phase development where a multi-storey residential block and a two-storey retail block designated for selling fresh food will be built. In future, a multi-storey residential block with retail floor and a community hall will be built at Site A, while a multi-storey office tower and a hotel block with retail facility will be built at Site C.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed resumption of private land would facilitate implementation of the development scheme, which would result in better utilisation of land resources and help stimulate private sector investment. On the other hand, the proposal may cause social disruption to some local residents and shop operators. In this regard, mitigation measures are required to help the affected residents to re-establish themselves in an improved living environment. The importance of maintaining the vibrancy of the existing market activities, retaining local social-cultural characteristics and heritage buildings should be recognized, and mitigation measures should be taken to minimise nuisance to ensure the continuation of the existing street market. The community sentiments and aspirations to preserve the on-street market and the local character of the area should also be handled with care.

Air Quality Health Index [Press Release]

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) launched the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), a new air pollution information system, on 30 December 2013 to replace the Air Pollution Index so as to communicate the health effects of air pollution more effectively and provide more timely and useful information to the public. The AQHI is reported on a scale of 1 to 10 and 10+, and is grouped into five health risk categories, i.e. low, moderate, high, very high and serious. It also provides health advice for people with different degrees of susceptibility to air pollution.

Sustainability Implications: The new health-based AQHI is a means for better protection of public health. It is conducive to the sustainability principles of seeking opportunities to provide a living environment which promotes and protects health of the public.


REPORT PERIOD : November 2013

Draft Shouson Hill & Repulse Bay Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 15 November 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Shouson Hill and Repulse Bay Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment in the Shouson Hill and Repulse Bay area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The rezoning of the subject site from "Government, Institution or Community" to "Residential (Group C)3" would produce land for low-rise house development. Nevertheless, given the location of the subject site in close proximity to the Aberdeen Tunnel portal, environmental impacts especially air pollution and traffic noise nuisance would be the major concerns. Mitigation measures should be implemented to alleviate the adverse environmental impacts. The differing concerns and views on the amendment from various stakeholders should be handled with care. Other amendments to the OZP, which are technical in nature, will have no economic, environmental and sustainability implications.


REPORT PERIOD : October 2013

Air Pollution Control (Air Pollutant Emission) (Controlled Vehicles) Regulation [LegCo Brief]

To improve roadside air quality and better protect public health, the Government proposed to phase out some 80,000 pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles through an incentive-cum-regulatory approach and to limit the service life of newly registered diesel commercial vehicles at 15 years. The Regulation is to effect the proposed retirement deadlines for pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles and the proposed service life limit of 15 years for diesel commercial vehicles first registered after the commencement of the Regulation.

Sustainability Implications: The Regulation is in line with the sustainability principles of avoiding environmental problems for present and future generations and providing a living environment which promotes and protects the physical health of the people of Hong Kong. Better air quality is also conducive to improving the quality of life, attracting more tourists and retaining foreign investments and talents in Hong Kong. All these would help reinforce our position as a world city and leading business hub.

Draft Lai Chi Kok Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 18 October 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Lai Chi Kok Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment within the Lai Chi Kok area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed rezoning of the subject site to "OU (Private Community Centre)" zone is an amendment that reflects the existing use of the subject site as a private community centre at Mei Foo Sun Chuen. As such, the proposed rezoning would not have significant sustainability implication. The inclusion of the provision for minor relaxation of plot ratio restriction for the "Residential Group (A)" zone has no sustainability implication.

Draft Pak Shek Kok (East) Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 18 October 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Pak Shek Kok (East) Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment in the Pak Shek Kok (East) area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The amendments to the Outline Zoning Plan would increase the land supply of residential flats and provide for the proposed expansion of the Hong Kong Science Park (HKSP). The amendments would intensify local population and result in loss in the land area of the "Recreation" and "Open Space" zones. Measures should be taken to mitigate issues arising from the interface between the residential development and the HKSP. The differing concerns and views from various stakeholders should be handled with care.

Draft Yi O Development Permission Area Approved [Press Release]

On 18 October 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Yi O Development Permission Area (DPA) Plan. The approved Plan provides planning guidance and facilitates development control within the Yi O area during the period required for detailed analysis of the land use pattern, study of infrastructural provisions and examination of development options for the formulation of an outline zoning plan. The approved DPA Plan was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The Development Permission Area Plan provides a stopgap measure to effect development control and planning guidance in the Area which would safeguard the natural and rural character of Yi O. This would contribute positively to the environmental quality of Hong Kong. Another sustainability assessment will have to be undertaken when the appropriate zonings are prepared with detailed analysis and studies at the Outline Zoning Plan preparation stage. However, the differing concerns and views from various stakeholders should be handled with care.


REPORT PERIOD : September 2013

Air Pollution Control (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2013 [LegCo Brief]

The Air Pollution Control (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2013 will expand the existing control regime, which currently bans the import and sale of the more hazardous amosite and crocidolite and controls activities involving asbestos-containing materials, to include the banning of the import, transhipment, supply and use of all types of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. It will also make related amendments to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Asbestos) Regulation to prohibit the use of all types of asbestos in industrial undertakings.

Sustainability Implications: Banning asbestos can further abate the risk of asbestos. The proposal is conducive to the sustainability principles of seeking opportunities to enhance environmental quality, and providing a living environment which promotes and protects the public health.

PWP Item No. 6810TH Retrofitting of Noise Barriers on Tuen Mun Road (Town Centre Section) [Press Release]

Retrofitting of noise barriers, semi-enclosure and full enclosure on Tuen Mun Road (Town Centre Section) between Kam Hing Building and Lakeshore Building.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed road scheme will mitigate the noise impact of the existing Tuen Mun Road on nearby residents. Nevertheless, the proposed works would inevitably cause some minor adverse impacts on the environment, including loss of trees and noise during construction. Proper mitigation measures will be implemented to minimize environmental impact. In addition, the potential visual impacts of the noise barriers and enclosures will be suitably mitigated by adopting a light colour and streamlined design with landscaping works that would blend in with the environment. The sentiments of stakeholders should be handled with care.

Draft Tai Po Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 13 September 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Tai Po Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment in the Tai Po area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed rezoning for the public rental housing development would increase the supply of public housing units to meet the needs of the community. The incorporation of appropriate development restrictions including building height restrictions and non-building areas would avoid out-of-context development/ redevelopment in Tai Po Area. Most of the other amendments are to reflect the existing development or technical in nature. Nevertheless, the differing concerns and views from various stakeholders should be handled with care.

Draft Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 27 September 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment in the Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The rezoning of the terraces and the stepped streets with unique terrace ambience (including Ladder Street accorded with Grade 1 historic status) to “Road” can prevent them from being built over, which are in line with the sustainability principle of protecting the cultural assets in Hong Kong. Other amendments are mainly to reflect the existing use or technical in nature. The differing concerns and views on the proposed amendments from various stakeholders should be handled with care.

Draft Fanling/Sheung Shui Outline Zoning Plan Approved [Press Release]

On 27 September 2013, the Town Planning Board announced that the Chief Executive in Council had approved the draft Fanling/Sheung Shui Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment in the Fanling/Sheung Shui area. The approved OZP was exhibited for public inspection under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Sustainability Implications: The proposed rezoning for the public housing development would increase the supply of subsidized housing units to meet the needs of the community. Suitable mitigation measures should be adopted to mitigate the possible air, noise, drainage, visual and landscape impacts. The differing concerns and views from various stakeholders should also be handled with care.


Sustainable Development Division