Through comprehensive and integrated planning, NDA Projects such as KTN/FLN, HSK and Yuen Long South can optimise the use of land resources, promote high-density development, facilitate the rationalisation of land use incompatibility issues in the rural NT, and improve the rural environment. For the TCNTE project, obtaining land through reclamation can reduce the uncertainties arising from impacts on the existing households and operators.
The NDA Projects in Tung Chung, KTN/FLN, HSK and Yuen Long South are among the major planned sources of Hong Kong's land supply in the medium to long term. It is expected that close to 200,000 housing units can be provided between 2023 and 2038 under these projects, supplying homes for almost 580,000 people. Over 860,000 square metres of industrial and commercial floor space will also be built, creating about 240,000 employment opportunities. These NDA Projects will optimise economic, industrial, commercial and tourism potential in these areas. The potential land supply of these projects has been taken into account in deriving the estimated land supply over the next 30 years under the "Hong Kong 2030+" study.
NTN is one of the two Strategic Growth Areas beyond 2030 proposed under the "Hong Kong 2030+" study. The "Preliminary Feasibility Study on Developing the New Territories North" put forward three areas with development potential, namely the San Tin/Lok Ma Chau development node, Man Kam To logistics corridor and the NTN new town which includes Hung Lung Hang, Heung Yuen Wai, Ping Che, Ta Kwu Ling and Queen's Hill. These areas can provide a total developable area of around 720 ha; this can accommodate a population of 255,000 or 350,000 and provide over 210,000 employment opportunities. As the NTN development is still at a conceptual stage, it was not included in the land supply estimate of 3,600 ha under "Hong Kong 2030+".
NDA Projects can help resolve brownfields issues in a more cost-efficient manner, providing an opportunity to consolidate brownfield operations. For example, three development projects in KTN/FLN, HSK and Yuen Long South together cover 340 ha of brownfield sites. Another 200 ha of brownfield sites can be released through the development of NTN.
For the NDA Projects that involve developing existing land, a substantial amount of time and cost will be required for land resumption, compensation, replacement and site formation, which may require decontamination works. A large number of transport, infrastructure and community facilities will also be needed. The Tung Chung project will require reclamation to create new land.
Apart from brownfield operators, NDA Projects that involve the development of existing land will also inevitably affect the existing users of the land concerned, including residents, farmers and business operators. Some of the existing houses and facilities may have to be demolished, which will affect residents' daily lives and their original community bonding. It is expected that three development projects in KTN/FLN, HSK and Yuen Long South will together affect around 3,600 households.
Large-scale comprehensive planning involves detailed planning and engineering studies, as well as multiple-stage community engagement. For NDA Projects that involve development of existing land, the entire planning and development process, from the study stage to the first population intake, usually takes at least 15 years. As such, they can only provide land in the medium to long term.
In addition, most of the existing land in the NDA Project areas is privately owned, including the collectively owned land by Tso/Tong. Even if there is authority under relevant legislations to resume the private land for development of public purpose, the resumption process will be lengthy, and large-scale clearance will be involved.
- Take KTN/FLN NDAs as an example, the affected area within the development areas totals around 320 ha, among which 182 ha is private land, involving around 1,500 households, 50 ha of which is brownfield land, and 28 ha is farmland.
- For HSK NDA, the total affected area amounts to around 441 ha, including some 324 ha of private land; the main affected occupants are estimated to be over 300 brownfield operators, 1,600 households and farmers of 7 ha of farmland, as well as the users of the low-rise industrial buildings in Kiu Tau Wai.
Besides brownfield operators, the development projects will affect a number of residents, farmers and business operators. Some of those affected by the clearance process will request "no relocation, no demolition" or will ask for a decanting site for resettlement purpose. Some affected persons, who may be dissatisfied with the existing or special compensation and rehousing arrangement, may hold out for a better arrangement. As a result, more time will be required for clearance and land resumption process, which may have a direct bearing on the overall implementation timetable.
For reclamation-based NDA Projects, large-scale reclamation will raise concerns about environmental conservation and fisheries issues.