Military Land for Residential Development
C/O The British Embassy in Beijing
Dear Mr. Paul,
MILITARY LANDS FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
We learned from reporting in the media in the last two days that the Chinese and the British sides of the JLG is about to reach an agreement on the disposal of Military Lands here in Hong Kong.
Three months ago, the Hong Kong Democratic Foundation called on both Governments to consider the interests of the Hong Kong people while negotiating on this matter. We also forwarded our suggestion in the form of a paper at that time. As both sides are now indicating publicly that they would take the wishes of the people of Hong Kong into consideration, we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our stance.
As you are well aware, Hong Kong is one of the most densely-populated cities in the world, the insatiable demand for land is reflected in the soaring prices of properties. Where artificial means, such the recent mortgage ceiling adopted by Banks will provide a temporary cooling effect at best, the real solution lies in the provision of more land.
While The Hong Kong Democratic Foundation respects China's right to station troops here in HK after 1997, we strongly urge both Governments to put housing needs of the people ahead of commercia1 considerations when considering the deployment of redundant military lands.
Residential developments, such as Housing estates and have ownership scheme blocks should be given top priority and lands in the New Territories, such as the Shek Kong Barracks, should be developed into low density blocks for the so called Sandwich class. Tens of thousands of people are being caught out and distressed by spiralling property prices. It is imperative that housing needs of Hong Kong people be addressed to if we were to have a smooth transition and maintain our stability and prosperity.
Patrick K. Y. Shiu
A Chinese version of this letter is forwarded to Mr. Luo Jiahuan.