The development of new towns in the New Territories continued in 2003.
At year-end, about 3.2 million people were housed in the new towns and
the nearby rural townships, enjoying a wide range of community and recreational
facilities, including schools, markets, shopping centres, parks and open
spaces and convenient transport links.
Railway development continued to add convenient mass
transit connections between the new towns and the urban areas. The KCR
West Rail, commissioned in December, links the new towns of Tsuen Wan,
Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Tuen Mun with West Kowloon. The new town of
Tseung Kwan O has been served by the MTR Tseung Kwan O Line since August
Engineering design and construction works on land
formation and infrastructure of the development are overseen and coordinated
by the TDD.
Extensive landscape works continued to be implemented in conjunction
with the developments, providing a green framework to the new neighbourhoods.
Trees are planted along roadsides to provide shade and colour, and attention
is given to the provision and design of sitting-out areas and walkways
for the enjoyment of the public. Ecological restoration works have also
been undertaken in accordance with the recommendation of the environmental
impact assessment studies to mitigate the impact of engineering works.
Apart from the tree planting associated with the developments,
large-scale afforestation programme continued in the hinterland of the
new towns and urban development areas, reducing soil erosion due to water
run-off from hillsides, preventing siltation of drainage systems and enhancing
the countryside. More than 12 million trees and shrubs have been planted
over the last five years, with about three million planted in 2003.
Tsuen Wan new town embraces the areas of Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Tsing
Yi Island, covering a total development area of about 2 400 hectares.
It has a current population of about 772 000, which is expected
to rise to about 816 000 by 2012. The new town has Hong Kong's
container terminals in its midst in Kwai Chung Area. In addition, the
Container Terminal 9 is under construction in southeast Tsing Yi.
Major highway projects are being constructed or planned
to further extend and reinforce the main road network. Construction is
proceeding on part of the rationalised Route 8 (previously part of Route
9) between Tsing Yi and Cheung Sha Wan, and the section of Route 5 between
Shek Wai Kok and Chai Wan Kok.
Sha Tin new town embraces the areas of Sha Tin and Ma On Shan. It covers
a total development area of about 2 000 hectares and is already home to
about 641 000 people.
Construction work is under way on the Sha Tin Heights
Tunnel and Approaches, which now form part of the rationalised Route 8
(and were previously part of Route 9) linking Sha Tin to Cheung Sha Wan,
and on the Road T3, which will connect with the Sha Tin Heights Tunnel.
Both projects will be completed in 2007.
The construction of Trunk Road T7, which will bypass
the Ma On Shan Town Centre and improve traffic conditions there, is due
for completion in mid-2004.
Tuen Mun new town, in the western New Territories, is developed mainly
on land reclaimed from Castle Peak Bay and on platforms built in the valley
between Castle Peak and the Tai Lam Hills. It covers a total development
area of about 1 900 hectares. The new town's current population is about
485 000, and this is forecast to rise to about 535 000 in 2012.
In south-west Tuen Mun, the River Trade Terminal operates
as a consolidation point for containers and bulk cargoes shipped between
Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta ports. The reclamation for special
industrial use has been completed. To cope with the increasing traffic
demand in association with these developments, Lung Fu Road (Foothills
Bypass) has been opened to traffic.
Tai Po has grown from a small market town into a new town with a population
of around 282 000. The new town, covering about 1 270
hectares, is well developed with the major infrastructure in place.
The Pak Shek Kok Development includes the development
of a Science Park and residential and recreation uses. The advance engineering
infrastructure works for the development have been substantially completed
to facilitate the inauguration of the initial phase of the Science Park.
The Stage I works for the remaining infrastructure continued during the
year and are scheduled for completion in early 2005 whereas the Stage
2 works are programmed to commence in early 2004 for completion in end-2006
to tie in with the Science Park's development programme.
Fanling and Sheung Shui are former traditional market towns which now
have a population of about 246 000. The total development
area is about 780 hectares. The new town's population is expected to reach
around 269 000 in 2012.
The river training works at the River Indus Basin
to relieve the risk of flooding in the Fanling and Sheung Shui areas were
substantially completed in mid-2003.
Yuen Long new town has a current population of about 177 000 and
this is expected to grow to around 206 000 by 2012. It covers
a development area of about 1 170 hectares.
Development in the new town is being extended southward
and along the Tuen Mun-Yuen Long Corridor. Infrastructure works for the
southern extension area commenced in end-2002 for completion in 2006.
The river training works for the upper reaches of
the Kam Tin River and the Ngau Tam Mei Catchment are in progress. Works
on the San Tin Eastern Main Drainage Channel and the Yuen Long Bypass
Floodway commenced in end-2002 and early 2003 for completion in 2005 and
2006, respectively. These works will alleviate flooding problems.
Tseung Kwan O new town has a current population of around 311 000 and
covers a development area of about 1 005 hectares.
In external transport, the new town is served by Po
Lam Road, Clear Water Bay Road and the Tseung Kwan O Tunnel. Further external
road links under planning include the Western Coast Road and widening
of Hang Hau Road/Clear Water Bay Road to dual-carriageway standard.
The Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate is located north
of Fat Tong Chau. A total of about 95 hectares of land has been formed
and serviced for development of high-technology industries or industries
requiring large amounts of land. The reclamation of about 104 hectares
in Fat Tong O for further industrial developments and potentially hazardous
installations is substantially completed.
The feasibility study on further development of Tseung
Kwan O continued and is targeted for completion in late 2004. The objective
of the study is to formulate a comprehensive development plan and to improve
the overall design of Tseung Kwan O and heighten its living environment.
Tin Shui Wai new town has been built on land reclaimed from low lying
areas off Deep Bay. An initial Development Zone of 220 hectares has been
developed with major infrastructure works and a full range of community
facilities completed. The new town now houses about 200 000 people.
The opening of the KCR West Rail and the Light Rail Transit extension,
as well as new roads linking the new town to the trunk road network, provide
good communications with the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun districts and the
urban areas beyond.
Engineering works for the Reserve Zone, covering 210
hectares, are in an advanced stage and targeted for completion in mid-2004.
The overall population of the new town will increase to around 289
000 in 2012.
Construction works for Phase 1 of Tung Chung new town were completed
in 1997, providing facilities for an initial community of around 20
000. Engineering works for Phase 2 development were completed in
2001 to serve an intended population of about 67 000. In
2003, the population had risen to about 41 000. Reclamation for Phase
3A development was completed early in the year.
The new town is linked to the rest of Hong Kong by
the North Lantau Highway as well as the MTR Tung Chung Line.
In December, the Government granted a franchise to
the MTR Corporation Limited for the finance, design, construction, operation
and maintenance of a cable car system linking Tung Chung and Ngong Ping.
This is expected to become an important tourism facility.
The planning and development studies on North-East New Territories (NENT)
and North-West New Territories (NWNT) have been completed. The studies
have established the feasibility of developing Kwu Tung North (497 hectares)
and Fanling North (192 hectares) in NENT as New Development Areas to house
populations of 100 000 and 80 000, respectively,
and developing Hung Shui Kiu (450 hectares) in NWNT as a New Development
Area to accommodate a population of about 160 000. The development
of these New Development Areas will be triggered when the need arises.