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Sha Tin

 Government Planned Development 

In planning the development of the Sha Tin 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.

Population and Housing Mix

There is a variety of housing in Sha Tin to suit a range of income levels and housing aspirations. The population of the Sha Tin New Town as at June 2001 is about 617,000. This includes about 206,000 persons in public rental housing (PRH), 209,000 persons in subsidized sale flats* and the remainder of about 202,000 persons in private residential areas, villages and other temporary and non-domestic housing.

Upon full development, the overall flat mix ratio of the New Town will be about 27:34:36:3 between PRH, subsidized sale flats*, private permanent housing (including village housing) and others (including private temporary housing and non-domestic housing). The population in Sha Tin New Town will be about 730,000 upon full development.

Population in Sha Tin New Town is 533000 in 1993, 550600 in 1994, 568900 in 1995, 569400 in 1996, 609100 in 1997, 629400 in 1998, 634100 in 1999, 612700 in 2000 and 617000 in 2001.

Population Growth in Sha Tin New Town 1993 to 2001


As at June 2001, 34% of population in Sha Tin New Town lives in subsidized sale flats, 33% in public rental housing, 31% in private permanent housing and 2% in other housing types.

Population by Housing Type in Sha Tin New Town as in June 2001

Lek Yuen and Wo Che Estates are two of the earliest PRH developments in Sha Tin. At present, there are altogether 16 PRH estates, 17 HOS and 7 PSPS in the New Town. Low density private residential developments are mainly located on higher ground such as Kau To.

Photo of Lek Yuen Estate
Lek Yuen Estate

Photo of Low density residential developments in Kau To
Low density residential developments in Kau To

Community Facilities

Within the New Town, adequate land has been reserved in accordance with the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, for the development of education, community and recreation facilities to serve the local residents.

Both primary and secondary schools are provided at a satisfactory level to meet the increasing population intake. Tertiary institutions in the New Town include the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hang Seng School of Commerce and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Sha Tin). The Hong Kong Sports Institute offers yet further diversity in the provision of tertiary education.

Photo of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

At present, there are 10 community halls in the New Town. Also, four sites have been reserved for community halls in order to meet the demand of future increase in population. These community halls may incorporate facilities such as nurseries, children/youth centres, and centres for the elderly and disabled.

The Prince of Wales Hospital, officially opened in 1982, serves as a regional hospital. The provision of hospital services is supplemented by the Sha Tin Hospital and a subvented hospital (Cheshire Home) at Ah Kung Kok. There is a private hospital in Sha Tin providing about 200 beds. Also, four general clinics/health centres are provided in the New Town to serve the local residents.

Photo of Prince of Wales Hospital
Prince of Wales Hospital

Recreation and Open Space

Adequate land has been reserved for the development of open space and recreation purposes to meet both local and district needs.

The Shing Mun River is the backbone of open space provision in Sha Tin. Stretching along its entire length are parks, promenades, cycleways and recreational facilities. The focus of these provisions is the 9-hectare Sha Tin Park. Apart from its lavish horticultural gardens and impressive water features, it also includes a large open plaza and a bandstand.

The open space at the waterfront to the west of Wu Kai Sha in Ma On Shan has been developed as a Town Park. A waterfront promenade with cycleways running from Tai Shui Hang in the south up to the Town Park in the north is also planned.

To foster the "green finger" concept adopted in the overall planning of Ma On Shan, three strips of open space running in an east-west direction will be developed. They serve as green visual corridors separating the high density developments. They are located to the south and north of Heng On Estate and to the north of Yiu On Estate.

Facilities for recreational use have also been planned and provided, many of these are located along the Shing Mun River, for example the Sha Tin Sports Ground. Wu Kai Sha Youth Village is one of the famous recreational areas in Ma On Shan. Swimming pool complexes, tennis courts, squash courts and indoor recreation centres are provided at various locations in the New Town to serve the population of their local catchments.

In addition to the major open spaces and recreational facilities, it is the planning intention to provide adequate local open spaces and recreational facilities within public housing estates and large-scale private residential developments.

Photo of Wu Kai Sha Youth Village
Wu Kai Sha Youth Village

Photo of Sha Tin Sports Ground
Sha Tin Sports Ground

Town Centres

The area in the vicinity of the East Rail Sha Tin Station has been selected for the development of the town centre for Sha Tin as a natural extension of the old market town. It also provides the New Town with a concentration of shopping facilities and a major public transport interchange.

The cultural complex, which is linked with the Sha Tin Station by commercial development, is the principal focus of the town centre of Sha Tin providing comprehensive facilities including a public library and a town hall. As the cultural complex is located within the low-rise civic spine, it is visually dominant from the surrounding pedestrian areas. Sha Tin Law Courts are located beside the cultural complex. The Sha Tin Park, situated between the cultural complex and the Shing Mun River, complements the development in the town centre. It is the focus of the open space theme along the Shing Mun River. Shops, offices, cinemas and other commercial and recreational facilities can also be found within the town centre.

Photo of Sha Tin Town Centre
Sha Tin Town Centre

The town centre in Ma On Shan area has been selected on the basis of its prominent look-out onto the Tolo Harbour and its convenient location from other parts of the New Town.

The Ma On Shan Town Centre includes a commercial core which is surrounded by a middle ring of residential development and an outer ring of government or community uses. The outer ring articulates the Town Park and Tolo Harbour promenade that completely encircles the town centre.

Photo of Ma On Shan Town Centre
Ma On Shan Town Centre

Retailing and Services

The Sha Tin New Town is one of the most important shopping and service centres in the New Territories. Large shopping arcades can be found in the town centres of Sha Tin and Ma On Shan. Also, local shopping centres and market facilities are provided in public housing estates.


Industries are distributed into four main areas, namely Tai Wai, Fo Tan, Shek Mun and Yuen Chau Kok. Convenient access to these industrial areas are provided. Industries in the New Town are mainly light manufacturing, warehousing and godown types.

Photo of Industrial Area in Fo Tan
Industrial Area in Fo Tan

Village Type Development

Although some older villages had to make way for land formation during the early stages of development, special attention has been paid to the conservation and improvement of the remaining original communities. A number of recognised villages, including Tai Wai Village and Tsang Tai Uk, have been retained within the New Town area and areas have been reserved for village extension purpose.

Photo of Tsang Tai Uk
Tsang Tai Uk

Conservation of Natural Environment

The Nai Chung Site of Special Scientific Interest was designated in 1982. It extends about 0.9 km along the coast of Nai Chung. Within this site, there is a good contact of granite with sediments and traces of black carboneous shales are found. These are all rare geological features in Hong Kong.

About 1,380 ha of land within the Sha Tin New Town is zoned "Green Belt", with the planning intention to promote conservation of the natural environment, to safeguard it from encroachment by urban type development and to provide additional outlets for passive recreational activities.


The Sha Tin New Town is well-served by different types of transport modes and good transport networks are linked with other parts of the territory.

Highways, Tunnels and Roads

Road links between Sha Tin and Kowloon are provided by the Lion Rock Tunnels, Tate's Cairn Tunnel and Tai Po Road. Traffic to the northwestern New Territories has been improved by the Shing Mun Tunnel which links Sha Tin with Tsuen Wan.

Access to the northern New Territories has been greatly improved since the opening of the Tolo Highway in September 1985. This, together with Sha Tin Road and Tai Po Road, forms a highway system which connects the New Town with Tai Po and beyond. Tate's Cairn Highway also links Ma On Shan with the Tolo Highway. Connection to Sai Kung has been provided by Sai Sha Road since October 1988.

Within the New Town itself, communications have been greatly improved by bridging over the Shing Mun River at several points.

Public Transport

The Sha Tin New Town is served by a large number of bus routes. Population centres are linked either directly with the metropolitan area or indirectly via local routes with the railway stations. The bus service is supplemented by green minibuses which generally serve smaller residential areas.

Kowloon-Canton Railway 

The Kowloon-Canton Railway has played an important role to the development of the New Town. There are altogether five stations serving the New Town, namely Tai Wai, Sha Tin, Fo Tan, Racecourse and the University.

Photo of East Rail Sha Tin Station
East Rail Sha Tin Station

Photo of Cycle Track along the Shing Mun River
Cycle Track along the Shing Mun 

Pedestrian Walkways and Cycle Tracks

Safe and convenient systems are provided for both pedestrians and cyclists to link the Sha Tin Town Centre with residential and industrial areas and provide direct links with most of the open spaces. A similar network is also planned for Ma On Shan to link up the residential developments with open spaces, community facilities, and the town centre as far as possible.

Cycling has also become a popular recreational activity in the New Town other than as a transport means for purpose trips. Maximum separation of cyclists from cars is achieved by building the cycle tracks separate from the roadway. Reasonable separation of cyclists from pedestrians is also maintained by a difference in level between the two paths. The cycle track along the Tolo Highway from Sha Tin to Tai Po is one of the most popular routes for cyclists.

* Including Housing Authority's Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats, Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS) flats and Tenants Purchase Scheme flats, and Housing Society's Flat-for-Sale Scheme flats and Sandwich Class Housing Scheme flats.

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  2005 Copyright | Important notices Last revision date : November 2002