Less sea areas to be reclaimed off Macau, Taipa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Issue 679, Page 1
Word count: 580
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The most updated Macau-Taipa new urban areas reclamation proposal sees less 100 hectares of the sea to be filled and the new land not to be used to develop the gaming industry.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io announced the changes of the preliminary land reclamation plan in response to lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong’s inquiry at the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

Lau said the amendments were made as requested by the Chinese central government and according to the concerns of population growth, economic development, town planning and also environmental conversation.

The latest proposal reduces the reclaimed area from 500 to 400 hectares, while the usable area on the new land created is down from 398 to 350 hectares.

However, the locations of the five reclaimed land parcels will remain unchanged, which will be in Macau’s north east, the south of Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in NAPE, and the north of Taipa.

The legislature was also told that casinos and other gambling establishments will not be built on the newly created land and low-density residential projects such as villas will as well be banned.

The secretary said about 60 percent of the reclaimed area will be reserved for non real estate use such as roads, open squares, green zones and public facilities.

At the same time, part of the land will be for the execution of the government policy to diversify local industries and also for public housing construction.

In order to increase residents’ living quality, Lau said a large number of green and recreational spaces and public service facilities will be set up to “beautify the waterfront landscapes of Macau and Taipa”.

The five reclaimed land parcels – Zone A to Zone E – will occupy different areas and be assigned with different development purposes.

Zone A in the north eastern part of the Macau Peninsula will have a size of 138 hectares after adjustment and be themed as a “community area” that includes residential buildings, schools, environmental and public facilities.

In addition, large-scale convention and exhibition industry will be developed there.

Zone B will be a 47 hectare usable land located in the south of Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in NAPE.

It will be planned for building public institutions, expanding roads and green space as well as a waterfront promenade.

The north of Taipa will be divided into Zone C, D and E with a total usable area of 165 hectares.

The three zones will be mainly used to develop residential buildings, transport infrastructure, green space and recreational facilities.

The transport and public works secretary told the lawmakers that the revised proposal is being assessed, adding a presentation and public consultation will be held once after an approval is obtained from the central government.

On the other hand, Lau said regional cooperation of the Greater Pearl River Delta was a “key step” in the Outline for the Pearl River Delta Reform and Development Plan.

As the central government “attaches great importance” to the development of Hengqin Island, he also said that the relocation of the University of Macau campus would serve as one of the first projects to be implemented there.

The development plan of Hengqin is being set out together by Guangdong Province and Macau. The secretary said at present the two governments are working on the content in order to submit it to the central government for review.

He added that policies and measures “different from those in other places” will be proposed for Hengqin.

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