The government has initiated the final three-month public consultation for a new development plan that could see five villages demolished.

The Hung Shui Kiu new development area, which is located between Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai, consists of a total development area of 714 hectares. The Secretary for Development Paul Chan said more than 60,000 housing units would be built, and that the new development areas would provide up to 150,000 employment opportunities.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan.
Secretary for Development Paul Chan. Photo: GovHK

The government also confirmed five villages containing more than 1,500 squatters would be demolished to make way for the construction of the new Hung Shui Kiu railway station, an extension to the West Rail Line, and 1,800 public housing units would be provided for villages affected by the new development areas.

The Development Bureau expected the construction work to begin by 2020. The plan indicated over 22 million square feet would be provided for commercial use. The authorities also reserved 37 hectares of land for logistics and technological land uses.

Hung Shui Kiu location
Location of Hung Shui Kiu. Photo: Google map

According to the latest plan proposed by the government, the Hung Shui Kiu new development areas would be strategically positioned as a “Regional Economic and Civic Hub”. The plan also said the new areas would accommodate a total population of about 215,000.

Opponents of the new development criticised the government for not listening to their opinions during previous public consultations and called on it to avoid dismantling existing villages.

Hung Shui Kiu development public forum
Public forum on Hung Shui Kiu development. Photo: GovHK

The Land Justice League said the project was “destroying people’s homeland”, adding that it amounted to an “injustice planning”.

The Anti Forced Integration group, which publishes articles online concerning new town developments, also criticised the plan as part of the “integration process” of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It added  such a plan would compromise the livelihood of citizens living in the northwest New Territories area.

Ho Hoi-fat, member of the Yick Yuen Tsuen concern group, said he may initiate a judicial review to stop the project if the government did not compensate the displaced villagers accordingly. Yick Yuen Tsuen is one of the five villages that would be dismantled following the plan.

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).