Flats 'not par for golf course'

The Fan Ling Golf Course is not the only solution to the public housing supply problem and building 12,000 flats on part of the plot is not cost effective, the Hong Kong Golf Club's president, Paul Tse See-fan, said.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event yesterday, Tse said the club has voiced its opinions on the housing plan to the Town Planning Board and Advisory Committee on the Environment, adding he believed the two bodies will consider the opinions with an open mind.

That came after the club's management called on members last month in an internal correspondence to speak out on the redevelopment plan to the board.

Members were asked to state their position and suggest alternatives, "which might include maintaining the status quo or perhaps using other land options such as brownfield sites or the Northern Metropolis".

"The club has already aired its views to the board and the advisory committee that redevelopment of the golf course is not the only option," he said, adding that experts have said that the plan is not cost effective.

While Tse is happy to see policies beefed up to solve the pressing housing woes, he said that both housing and sports development are important to the city.

"Hong Kong is a metropolis for sports events. Housing and sports both form the basis for sustainable development, so I hope both sectors will be able to find solutions in an amicable spirit," he said.

Tse also said that an overly unitary land use plan would mean that transportation systems might get underused, adding that a more diversified approach would bring the most benefit.

Meanwhile, the Housing Authority plans to reclassify a six-hectare green belt in Kwai Chung near Shek Lei (II) Estate for housing development.

If construction begins as scheduled in 2029, 5,400 public housing flats will be available to house around 15,000 residents in 2035 at the earliest.

It also plans to begin next year on a redevelopment of Kwai On Factory Estate into two blocks that will contain 600 apartments, accommodating around 1,620 residents who will be able to move in by 2030.