Henderson offers 1 million sq ft of Fanling farmland for public homes, saying it would yield to any seizure by Hong Kong's government of private land

By Sandy Li and Pearl Liu sandy.li@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3030483/henderson-offers-1-million-sq-ft-fanling-farmland-public-homes?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | October 1, 2019 4:32 AM SGT
Henderson Land Development, the third-biggest private landowner in Hong Kong, said it would yield to any government seizure of private land for public housing, a day after New World Development donated a fifth of its farmland reserves.
Henderson's concession came as the Lands Department announced plans to take back 784 plots of private farmland covering 68 hectares (7.3 million square feet) in the northern New Territories, on which 21,000 new homes will be built in the first phase.
Henderson said it owned 1 million sq ft, or 14 per cent, of the land to be taken back by the government.
Michael Wong Wai-lun, the city's Secretary for Development, said on Thursday the government will aim to take ownership of 400 hectares of private land under the Lands Resumption Ordinance over the next five years. Its quarterly land-sale programme, also unveiled on Thursday, revealed plans to release two plots yielding 980 units " down 27 per cent from the previous quarter.
Hong Kong's authorities and its big developers have come under intense pressure lately from Chinese state-owned media to free up land to alleviate the housing crisis " something Beijing is blaming for the unprecedented civil unrest that has engulfed the city.
Henderson's statement points to a softening stance among the developers, who previously would have fought back against any attempted land seizure and used judicial reviews to get the highest possible compensation.
In a statement on Thursday, Sun Hung Kai Properties said it too would support the government's bid to seize land as long as it received "reasonable compensation" and provided the land in question was not earmarked for "private housing or commercial development purposes".
"Of the lots in the New Territories that the government said it will resume, [we] may have a small area but [are] waiting for the...