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Tai Po


 Government Planned Development 

In planning the development of the Tai Po New Town, suitable sites have been reserved for various types of land-uses including residential, commercial, industrial and open space, and for the provision of different types of community and infrastructural facilities to meet the needs of the population.

Residential Development Densities

In the private housing sector, the original planning of providing uncrowded living conditions in the new town has led to an infrastructural system in Tai Po generally geared to a maximum domestic plot ratio of 5 for high density residential development. As for medium density residential development, a range of plot ratio and building height controls has been applied to ensure that development would be harmonious with its surroundings. A general three-storey height/0.8 plot ratio control has been applied for low density residential development, but a slightly tighter 0.6 plot ratio has been applied for sites within Tai Po Kau, which is next to the Nature Reserve.

Population and Housing Mix 

The population of Tai Po New Town as in June 2001 has been estimated to be about 290,300 persons. This includes 102,900 persons resided in private permanent housing, 78,300 persons in public rental housing, 103,000 in subsidized sale flats*, and the remainder of 6,100 persons in others (including private temporary housing and non-residential housing). About 22,600 persons are residing in the remaining rural areas.

The overall flat mix ratio in the New Town upon full development will be 35:28:35:2 between private permanent housing, public rental housing, subsidized sale flats and others. Excluding the population in the rural areas which amount to some 48,500 population, the population in Tai Po District upon full development will be approximately 305,900.

Population in Tai Po New Town is 239520 in 1993, 256100 in 1994, 262500 in 1995, 260500 in 1996, 267000 in 1997, 278700 in 1998, 280600 in 1999, 293500 in 2000 and 290300 in 2001.
Population Growth in Tai Po New Town 1993 - 2001

 

As at June 2001, 35% of population in Tai Po New Town lives in subsidized sale flats, 35% in private permanent housing, 28% in public rental housing and 2% in other housing types.
Population by Housing Type in Tai Po New Town as in June 2001

 

Public Housing 

At present, six public rental estates, nine Home Ownership Schemes (HOS) and three Private Sector Participation Schemes (PSPS) have been completed to accommodate about 181,300 persons in the Tai Po New Town. The first public rental estate in New Town is Tai Yuen Estate in Area 16, which was completed in 1981. In 1992, the latest public rental estate, Wan Tau Tong Estate, was completed in Area 6. The first HOS development in the New Town is Ting Nga Court in Area 16 completed in 1981 whilst the latest one is Yee Nga Court in Area 17 which was completed in 1993. The first and latest PSPS developments are Tai Po Plaza in Area 4 and the Elegance Garden in Area 17 respectively. The former was completed in 1985 whilst the latter was completed in 1991.

Private Housing

Upon full development, 245 ha of land reserved for private housing development is expected to accommodate about 80,500 persons. These population will be accommodated in high-density commercial/residential developments in the Tai Po Old Market (Area 2), Tai Po Market (Area 1), the new Central Area (Area 4) and Tai Po Tau (Area 22); and accommodate in medium to low-density developments located at the periphery of the New Town and in sites near to the countryside areas. Besides, about 60,000 persons will be accommodated in village houses and institutional quarters.

Village Type Development

About 149 ha and 242 ha of land are reserved for village type development within Tai Po New Town and the remaining areas covered by the rural outline zoning plans. The traditional villages have different development characteristics in terms of density, design and landscaping aspects as compared to other residential development areas in Tai Po New Town. Most of the villages have experienced significant changes as the New Town develops. Those located near the urbanized areas are expanding whereas those located in more remote areas are being abandoned. Occasionally, some existing village houses have to be resited to make way for new development projects.

Photo of Tai Hang Village
Tai Hang Village


Economic Activities

Farming and fishing were the main livelihood of the early residents in Tai Po. Since 1970s, the traditional farming and fishing activities (in Areas 1 and 4) gradually disappeared from the town centre and moved to the outskirts of the town. The fishing fleet in Yuen Chau Tsai was relocated to Yim Tin Tsai along with the wholesale fish market at Sam Mun Tsai. However, agricultural activities still continue at Lam Tsuen, Kau Lung Hang and Ting Kok.

Industry

At present, most of Tai Po's industry is accommodated in the Tai Po Industrial Estate and the mixed industrial and office buildings at Ting Kok Road in Area 8, with the rest in a few conventional ground floor premises and squatter structures.

In 1974, the Government decided to establish Hong Kong's first planned industrial estate in Tai Po. Some 62 ha of reclaimed land in Area 26 were earmarked for special industries which, by applying a relatively high level of technology, help to broaden Hong Kong's industrial base. Such industries cannot operate efficiently in conventional flatted factories. Another 11 ha of land has been allocated to the Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited for development of its gas production plant. To date, over 80 factories are operating in the Industrial Estate, employing about 16,100 workers.

The Tai Ping Industrial Centre and the mixed industrial and office uses at Ting Kok Road had been completed providing industrial floorspace of about 202,000m
2.

Photo of Tai Po Industrial Estate
Tai Po Industrial Estate

 

Photo of Tai Ping Industrial Park
Tai Ping Industrial Park

 

Science Park 

A site of about 22 ha at Pak Shek Kok, which is planned to provide accommodation to attract new technology-based firms and activities to Hong Kong so as to stimulate the growth of locally-owned, technologically advanced businesses, is under public filling for the proposed Science Park. It can provide the environment, form, structure and services which would facilitate research and development activities, product innovation and synergy. The land and premises within the Science Park are suited to the research and development needs of local and international high-technology firms and activities. The Science Park is well-located to contribute to the development of a high technology corridor linking Shenzhen and the Main Urban Areas. Upon full development, the Science Park is expected to provide job opportunities for about 16,500 persons. The Science Park will be developed into 3 phases. Phase 1 is under construction and will commence operation in early 2002.

Photo of the Science Park at Pak Shek Kok
The Science Park at Pak Shek Kok

Retailing and Services

Tai Po is one of the important regional shopping centres in the New Territories with retail provisions serving the new town and its rural hinterland. Retailing and marketing facilities are provided in the Tai Po Market (Area 1), they are supplemented by the shopping floorspace at the new Central Area (Area 4). Local shopping centres and convenient market facilities are provided in all public housing estates and the Commercial / Residential site in Area 6. The existing temporary market in Area 1 will be replaced by a new market complex in 2002/3.

Photo of Retail Shops at Tai Po Centre, Area 4
Retail Shops at Tai Po Centre, Area 4 

Major Community Facilities 

Most of the community facilities, which were planned to serve the residents of the New Town in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, have been completed and in operation. Those facilities which have been recently completed or under progress/active planning are listed below :

  • The Nethersole Hospital and Convalescent/Infirmary Hospital has been completed in 1998 with 1,662 hospital beds. In addition to the two existing clinics in Tai Po, a site has been reserved for a third clinic in Area 6 but the programme of development is subject to review by the Health Department

  • The Tai Po Waterfront Park covering an area of about 16 ha in Area 33 was completed in 1997.

  • The Campus of the Hong Kong Institute of Education in Area 32 was completed in 1998 and its sports centre in Area 39 was completed in 2000.

  • The construction of Butterfly Valley Primary Service Reservoir and Aqueducts from Tai Po to Butterfly Valley was completed in June 2001.

  • A site in Area 1 is being developed for a market complex to replace the existing temporary market in the vicinity.

  • A site in Area 1 has been reserved for a civic complex cum central library.

  • The construction of the Tai Po Water Treatment Works, located to the south of the existing Tai Po Tau Water Treatment Works, was commenced in 1998 for completion by June 2002.

Transport

There have been major improvements in both public and private transport links between the New Town and other parts of the New Territories and the Main Urban Areas.

Kowloon Canton Railway

The electrification and double-tracking of the KCR in 1983 has enhanced the communication between Tai Po and the Main Urban Areas. Tai Po is served by two existing railway stations, the Tai Po Market Station and the Tai Wo Station, which have been completed in 1983 and 1989 respectively. Each of the railway stations is served by a public transport terminus for convenient change of transport modes to and from areas outside Tai Po.

Photo of Tai Wo Station
Tai Wo Station

New Territories Trunk Road 

The Tolo Highway, which forms part of the New Territories Trunk Road, is a dual 3-lane highway and provides the major road link between Kowloon and the northern part of the New Territories. It connects with new roads leading to the major town centres in the New Territories, including Sha Tin, Tai Po, Fanling / Sheung Shui and Yuen Long to provide an efficient and much improved road network. It will be supplemented by a system of district and local distributor roads, which penetrates all parts of the New Town. The Tolo Highway between Ma Liu Shui and Island House Interchange is being widened to dual 4-lane. The widening works are scheduled for completion in early 2003. Another section of Tolo Highway from Island House Interchange to Fanling will also be widened to dual 4-lane. The widening works are scheduled for commencement in mid 2003 and for completion in end 2006.

Photo of Tolo Highway
Tolo Highway

Internal Road Network 

Within Tai Po, a comprehensive road network is being developed. Existing roads are being upgraded and new roads are constructed. All cross-town and through traffic is diverted to Tai Wo Road and Nam Wan Road to relieve the traffic at Kwong Fuk Road. The implementation of an one-way circular traffic system along Wan Tau Street, Heung Sze Hui Street and Po Heung Street has greatly improved the traffic congestion problems in the Tai Po Market Area. Most of the distributor roads in Tai Po have been completed and they are linked to the Tolo Highway via two major interchanges, the Island House Interchange and the North Tai Po Interchange. Ting Kok Road Upgrading Stage 2 and Sewerage (between Shuen Wan and Tai Mei Tuk) was completed in December 2001.

Photo of Road Network in Tai Po
Road Network in Tai Po

Public Transport

Tai Po is served by more than 30 bus routes linking Tai Po and other parts of the Kowloon and the New Territories. Moreover, a number of public light buses and residents coaches are available for commuters to travel between large residential estates to the KCR stations.

Photo of Cycletrack alongside Tolo Harbour
Cycletrack alongside Tolo Harbour

Pedestrian Walkways and Cycle Tracks 

A comprehensive network of segregated footpaths and cycletracks has been planned for the New Town. Major routes are through landscaped areas alongside distributor roads, the main river channels, the waterfront and important open spaces and recreation areas. The network will not only serve town-wide roads but also provide links into the surrounding countryside where picnic, barbecue and rest areas are located. The cycletrack which runs alongside the Tolo Highway from Sha Tin to the Bride's Pool (north of Ting Kok) is one of the most popular routes in the territory particularly during weekends and public holidays.

Recreation and Open Space

The scenic setting of Tai Po creates a strong sense of visual identity and the strategy for recreation provision in the New Town has aimed at providing ample recreational facilities and open space at the new residential areas while enhancing their linkages to rural recreation areas and the surrounding countryside. About 130 ha of land has been reserved for open space use. Among the existing recreational facilities, the most important ones are the Mui Shue Hang Park, Tai Po Swimming Pool Complex, waterfront park, watersports centres at Tai Mei Tuk. Moreover, the 32km-long Tai Po Country Trails,which mainly follow existing village footpaths and ridges overlooking Tai Po New Town from the west and the north, connect urban Tai Po to rural recreation areas and surrounding countryside.

Photo of Tai Po Waterfront Park
Tai Po Waterfront Park

Natural Environment

Several areas in Tai Po are the breeding ground of a number of rare insect species (dragonflies and butterflies) and egrets. Many of these areas are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) or Conservation Areas for preservation of the natural habitat for the rare species. The ecologically important areas include Sha Lo Tung, which is famous for rare dragonfly species; the Fung Yuen Valley SSSI, which is famous for rare butterfly species; the Tai Po Market SSSI and the coastal areas along Ting Kok and Tai Po Kau, which are breeding grounds for a number of egret species. Developments are strictly controlled in these areas and in their vicinity in order to preserve the natural habitats from human disturbances.

Photo of Sha Lo Tung - habitat for rare dragonfly specie     
Sha Lo Tung - habitat for rare
dragonfly specie

 

Photo of Egrets at Ting Kok Conservation Area         
  Egrets at Ting Kok Conservation Area   

 

Rural Tai Po 

Since the publication of Interim Development Permission Area Plan / Development Permission Area Plan in early 1990s, the proliferation of open storage uses has been curtailed. Developments in the rural Tai Po were mainly village houses concentrated around the 59 numbers of recognised villages. About 242 ha of land are reserved for village type development.

Photo of Tseng Tau Village - Recognized Village in Tai Po
Tseng Tau Village - Recognized Village in Tai Po

*including Housing Authority's Home Ownership Scheme Flats, Private Sector Participation Scheme Flats and Buy-or-Rent Option Scheme Flats


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  2005 Copyright | Important notices Last revision date : November 2002