Kwun Tung North and Fanling North OZP Representation
The North East New Territories New Development Area (NENT NDA) Planning and Engineering Study was completed in early 2010s. The findings and recommendations were presented in the KTN OZP and FLN OZP. The two OZPs were gazetted at the same time.
The congested situation of East Rail had already caused frequent complains. It was anticipated to be worsened due to increasing cross-boundary visitors and activities and the plan to reduce the number of compartments of East Rail trains when the Shatin Central Link is in service.Development of the two NDAs will worsen overcrowding situation of East Rail which would have adverse knock-on effect on road traffic.
Both future residents of KTN and FLN would rely on the East Rail for commuting to urban area. Transport Planning Alliance (TPA), a community organisation which is interested in transport issues, had great concern about the transportation arrangements for the planning areas. TPA commissioned Masterplan to submit representations to the two OZPs.
The representation objected to the lack of a new railway line to serve the planned population. This limited the mobility and affected the life quality of the future community of the NDA.
The planning of KTN NDA had adopted a Transit-oriented Development mode with 80% of the new population living within 500m walking distance from the proposed Kwu Tung Railway Station. This station will be on Lok Ma Chau Spur Line which connects with East Rail Line.
The representation objected to the lack of railway infrastructure to serve the planned population of the NDA. The new population would need to rely on Environmental Friendly Transport Mode (EFTM) feeder services to go to Sheung Shui and Fanling Stations and interchange with the very congested East Rail Line.As the East Rail was already congested, the feasibility of EFTM feeder services shuttle passengers to East Rail was doubtful.
Common points for the two representations
The planning of two NDAs failed to uphold the Government’s strategic policy of “Using Railways as the Backbone for Development”.Moreover, the lack of railway infrastructure in the NDA failed to optimise the development potential of the scarce land resources.
The congested East Rail conditions indicated that Northern Link (NOL) would be needed for the two NDAs to divert passengers to West Rail. NOL should be implemented in a timely manner to match with the population in-take of the two NDAs. It should be extended to serve FLN NDA with two associated stations.
The representations proposed that, for KTN OZP, an indicative alignment of NOL should be shown on the Draft KTN OZP. Regarding for FLN, an indicative alignment of NOL and the approximate locations of railway stations should be shown on the OZP. In addition, the Explanatory Statement also needs to include the implementation timetable of NOL in the sections related to public transport and implementation of the NDA.
TPB Decisions on the Representations
TPB did not uphold the two representations. In fact, the Board did not uphold any of the over 40,000 representations related to the two OZPs.