Govt HK$550m Lantau Tomorrow funding request goes to Legco on Friday

As if Hong Kong politics were not combustible enough: the contentious Lantau reclamation project is back.

The HK$624 billion scheme to build a new CBD on reclaimed land near Lantau is the biggest and costliest in Hong Kong’s history.

The government will go to the Legco Finance Committee this Friday to seek final approval for HK$550 million for the first stage of the project – planning and engineering studies.

The proposal passed the public works subcommittee in May.

Under the scheme the government plans to create 1200ha of land for premium office space and housing for up to 1 million people around Kau Yi Chau, an island halfway between Lantau and Hong Kong.

A second stage, yet to be studied, involves building a further 500ha near Hei Ling Chau, just off Mui Wo.

Source: Sustainable Lantau Office

Critics have assailed the plan over its cost and environmental impact and poorly thought-out transport arrangements

They question the government’s figures and say it has ignored existing land stocks such as brownfield land and vacant government sites as well as tens of thousands of empty apartments.

In a briefing paper, the CEDD said it required the funds to proceed

with the planning of the KYC [Kau Yi Chau] Artificial Islands, including the formulation of detailed land use proposals, as well as the road and rail connections linking the KYC Artificial Islands with Hong Kong Island, Northeast Lantau and coastal area of Tuen Mun.

If it begins on schedule the study would complete in mid-2023, the paper said.

The biggest costs in the study are the consultants’ fees for the artificial islands (HK$190 million) and for transport infrastructure (HK$160 million).

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