Town Planning Board agrees to gazette the statutory plans related to the San Tin Technopole


     The Town Planning Board (the Board) yesterday (February 23) agreed to gazette the new draft San Tin Technopole Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) (replacing the prevailing approved San Tin OZP), and the proposed amendments to the approved Ngau Tam Mei OZP and the approved Mai Po and Fairview Park OZP for public consultation in accordance with the Town Planning Ordinance (the Ordinance).
     The Board noted that the OZPs provided statutory planning framework for the development of the San Tin Technopole (the Technopole) and the Sam Po Shue Wetland Conservation Park (SPS WCP). The OZP for the Technopole also covered the area near the proposed San Tin Station of the Northern Link. The overall development would provide about 50 000 residential units and about 165 000 employment opportunities. Members considered that the Technopole would be particularly important for the implementation of Hong Kong’s role as an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub and the development of the I&T industry. Members also opined that the I&T land should be of significant scale to achieve efficiency, and noted that together with the Lok Ma Chau Loop (the Loop), there would be 300 hectares of I&T land. Members generally agreed with the planning layout that I&T land should be located in the north as an extension of the Loop while San Tin Town Centre, which was mainly a residential community, should be located in the south.
     At the meeting, Members enquired and discussed in detail the positioning of the Technopole, permitted uses of I&T land, urban-rural integration, urban design, the implementation programme and mechanism, etc. Ecological conservation and wetland compensation were also major concerns of Members.
     Members agreed to the establishment of the 338-hectare SPS WCP to achieve the dual goals of strengthening wetland conservation and making wetland compensation. Given about 90 hectares of fishponds would be filled for the development of the Technopole, Members noted that the environmental impact assessment report being published recommended increasing the ecological value of the wetlands in the SPS WCP through active conservation measures so that there would be no net loss in the ecological function or carrying capacity of the fishponds.
     Whilst acknowledging the concerns of some members of the public on the proposed development, majority of Members considered that the land use planning of the OZPs had already struck a balance between development and conservation. Some Members considered that the Government should formulate the implementation and management details of the SPS WCP as soon as possible, and suggested that a monitoring mechanism should be in place to ensure that the future operation of the wetland park could achieve no net loss of ecological function.
     Regarding the proposed consequential amendments to the boundaries of wetland conservation area and wetland buffer area demarcated in the Town Planning Board Guidelines No. 12C, the Board considered that it could be considered upon completion of the statutory planning procedures of the relevant OZPs.
     The draft San Tin Technopole OZP, the draft Ngau Tam Mei OZP and the draft Mai Po and Fairview Park OZP will be exhibited in accordance with the Ordinance. Members of the public can submit representations during the two-month exhibition period.