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Hong Kong panel suggests converting golf course to address land shortage

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Using part of Hong Kong's iconic golf course and developing deserted rural land for housing are among a government-appointed panel's suggestions to address land shortage in the world's least affordable property market.

[HONG KONG] Using part of Hong Kong's iconic golf course and developing deserted rural land for housing are among a government-appointed panel's suggestions to address land shortage in the world's least affordable property market.

The task force also proposed developing private agricultural land, recreational sites, caverns and underground space, as well as reclaiming land from the sea to provide more plots for home. It submitted its final report on Monday.

Hong Kong has long been plagued by land shortages and Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged that land supply is always "a very important topic" to her government.

"Land shortage has undoubtedly crippled Hong Kong for a long time. Society can hardly move forward if the problem is not solved promptly," said Stanley Wong Yuen Fai, chairman of the task force in a media briefing. "We hope the government would consider our recommendations in detail."

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In October, Mrs Lam pitched a plan to reclaim 1,700 hectare of land and build artificial islands off the Lantau Island. The proposal, which has a reported price tag of US$63.8 billion, has led to heated debates in the city on whether it's worthwhile at all.

While the task force acknowledged Mrs Lam's plan, which was proposed during the five-month public consultation, it suggested a similar reclamation plan of only 1,000 hectare.

The options submitted by the task force are for the government to consider and the administration isn't obliged to implement the suggestions.

BLOOMBERG