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Govt to complete eco-assessments of public housing project near airport at year-end: Rosário

2021-02-23 03:14     Comment:0

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário said yesterday that the government expects to complete environmental assessments of its two new proposals for its large-scale public housing project on the plot at the bottom of Big Taipa Hill in Avenida Wai Long – the plot of the ill-fated La Scala luxury housing project near the airport – at the end of this year.

The policy secretary also said that the government would only decide which proposal will be adopted after assessing the findings of the environmental assessments.

Rosário made the remarks while speaking to reporters at The Plaza Restaurant in Zape after attending a reception hosted by the Macau Women’s General Association (commonly known as Fu Luen) to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8.

The government announced early this month that it was considering scaling down its public housing project on the Wai Long plot by reducing the number of flats from the initially planned 6,500 units, to between 4,000 and 5,300 units.

Rosário briefed lawmakers on February 5 about the government’s original proposal and two new proposals for the huge public housing project, where all flats will be subsidised home-ownership scheme (HOS) units. The government’s aim of the session was to hear lawmakers’ views before deciding whether to keep its original proposal or to adopt one of the two new proposals.

In its original proposal – the details of which were also presented during the session, the government planned to build up to 6,500 HOS units on the plot. In the first new proposal, the government plans to build 4,800 to 5,300 HOS units, while in the second new proposal, the government plans for 4,000 HOS units on the plot.

In 2016, the government planned to build 8,000 public housing units on the former La Scala plot, before reducing the number to 6,500 units a year later after a further assessment of the project.

During the presentation session for lawmakers early this month, Rosário said that the government’s proposal to further scale down the Wai Long public housing project aimed to enable future residents there to live more comfortably.

Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) Director Lam Wai Hou said during the session that the government had passed traffic flow, air flow and environmental assessments of the public housing project under the original proposal. Lam said that the implementation of the first new proposal would require a follow-up environmental assessment. As the second new proposal involves a major change from the original proposal, it would require the government to carry out new traffic flow, air flow and environmental assessments, Lam said early this month.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Rosário reaffirmed that the government will carry out environmental assessments of the public housing project under the two new proposals.

Rosário said that the environmental assessments would cover the noise impact of the nearby airport, air quality impact of the city’s solid waste incinerator nearby in Pac On, and air flow assessment, adding that the government expected to complete the assessments at the end of this year.

Some urban planners and environmental activists have opposed the government’s public housing project on the Wai Long plot, saying that the plot was unsuitable for housing regardless of the number of flats to be built there, considering its proximity to the city’s incineration plant and airport.


Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário speaks to reporters at The Plaza Restaurant in Zape yesterday. Photo: Prisca Tang

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