14 October 2003
Property development
 
In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) confirmed today (Tuesday) that having discussed with the Government, both the Corporation and the Government have agreed that it would not be necessary to pursue the earlier proposal to hand over to the Government railway residential property development rights which were committed in the relevant railway project agreements signed between the Government and the Corporation.
The proposal was made earlier this year in response to calls that the two railway corporations defer their property development proposals in light of the then prevailing property market conditions. As the future population of the KCRC’s sites will boost the ridership of West Rail and Ma On Shan Rail, the Corporation took the initiative to put a proposal to the Government which was intended to ensure that the development of these sites would be given high priority once property market conditions improved.
"After further exchange of views with the Government, and having regard to the current market condition and the likely flat supply situation in the next years, the Corporation and the Government have agreed to the following timing of the disposal of the West Rail sites – that none of the residential development from any of these sites will be completed before 2008/09.
"As for property development sites along Ma On Shan Rail, the vast majority of residential units would likewise not be completed before 2008. The only exception would be a small number of flats at Tai Wai, which are programmed to be completed by 2007. It is now agreed that these will be deferred slightly by only a few months to 2008 to take into account the likely future flat supply situation. This slight change of programme will have no material impact on the Corporation.
"Based on this timetable, the Corporation would only be inviting expressions of interest from joint venture development partners to develop the site in 2005, with flats being made available for pre-sale in 2006/2007 at the earliest."
The spokesman added that these arrangements were decided bearing in mind the best interests of the Corporation and the community as a whole.