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Fanling & Sheung Shui

 Historical Background 

Developments in the Fanling/Sheung Shui area were once concentrated in the market towns of Luen Wo Hui in Fanling and Shek Wu Hui in Sheung Shui where trading and a range of commercial activities were conducted. The hinterland of the town was one of the most fertile agricultural area in the Territory. The Sha Tau Kok Valley in particular provided the bulk of produce that was sold daily in the thriving market centres at Luen Wo Hui and Shek Wu Hui. All these activities had contributed substantially to the bustling character of the market towns. Two major settlements, namely the Fanling Wai and Sheung Shui Wai, have been developed closely in association with the market towns.

Sheung Shui Heung, also known as Sheung Shui Wai, is characterized by its magnificent moat and landscape setting. The walled village is one of the very few rural settlements having retained its original moat which was constructed back in 1646. The village is the core of the Liu clan with ancestors came originally from Fujian during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), however, it is widely believed that the Liu clan began to settle in this part of the New Territories at the end of the 16th Century.

Fanling Wai is recognisable with the distinctive pond and layout including features such as cannons and watchtowers, all these elements are crafted to form an integral part of the village setting. Fanling Wai is the centre of the Pang clan who arrived from Guangxi province late in the Song Dynasty. The clan established the walled village and was believed to have settled in the area between 1120 and 1280.

Areas adjoining the market towns were once characterized by paddy fields, fallow and plough, and clusters of farmsteads in gentle and irregular composition. Preliminary land-use plans for the now Fanling/Sheung Shui area were prepared by the then Town Planning Office in 1971. In 1972, the Government embarked upon a large-scale housing programme which subsequently transformed many rural areas. The housing programme became the foundation of ambitious new town programmes, and the Government then started extensive building programmes to materialize the planned new towns.

Aerial Photo of Fanling Wai

Aerial View of Fanling Wai

Aerial Photo of Sheung Shui Wai

Aerial View of Sheung Shui Wai


Evolution of Fanling/Sheung Shui from the 1960s to the 1970s

In the 1970s, different outline development plans were prepared to cater for economic and population growth in the area. In 1976, the Fanling/Sheung Shui areas were envisaged to accommodate a design population of about 84,000. In 1978, as a major step to integrate various land uses planning in the area, the market towns of Fanling and Sheung Shui were combined to form a new town. In 1981, an area in Wo Hop Shek was included as part of the new town area to enable comprehensive planning in an attempt to increase the provision of public housing in the region.

In the early 1980s, the "North Eastern New Territories Study" was commissioned to formulate a strategy to assess broad future land-use options and guide developments. The "Fanling/Shek Wu Hui Central Areas Study" outlining different land use patterns and development packages was completed in 1983 to form the basis for future planning in the new town areas.

In 1987, the first statutory draft Fanling/Sheung Shui Outline Zoning Plan No. S/FSS/1 was gazetted for public inspection. The plan covering an area of about 770 ha established the broad land-use zonings and major road network for the new town. Based on the planned uses and various development packages, the new town which had a population of about 10,900 in 1986, was envisaged to accommodate a total population of about 280,000. The Planning Statement for the North Eastern New Territories Sub-region was adopted in 1986 to provide a long term comprehensive land-use-transport plan to co-ordinate developments in the sub-region. With the rapid economic growth and changes in land-use planning, further review on sub-regional development strategy was found to be necessary.

In the early 1990s, the "North East New Territories Development Strategy Review" was commissioned to outline a long term comprehensive land-use-transport-environment framework for the new towns and rural areas up to the years 2006 and 2011 respectively. The study identified broad strategic growth areas to accommodate the proposed population growth and stressed the need to preserve the natural environment.


Photo of Evolution of Fanling/Sheung Shui from the 1960s to the 1970s
Evolution of Fanling/Sheung Shui from
the 1960s to the 1970s
Photo of Evolution of Fanling/Sheung Shui from the 1960s to the 1970s
Evolution of Fanling/Sheung Shui from the 1960s to
the 1970s


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  Last revision date : November 2002