Cavern Master Plan
Creating new land is essential to the development of Hong Kong in the long term, and cavern development is one of the viable options under the multi-pronged strategy to increase land supply. The hilly terrain with strong rocks in Hong Kong is highly suitable for developing rock caverns, particularly in the urban fringe. There is proven local experience in cavern construction as demonstrated by various existing facilities built in Hong Kong. Enhancing the systematic use of rock caverns can offer new opportunities for Hong Kong's long-term planning and development, supplementing other short- and medium-term land development approaches.
The "Long-term Strategy for Cavern Development – Feasibility Study" completed by the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) in conjunction with Planning Department (PlanD) has recommended, among others, the formulation of a strategic territory-wide Cavern Master Plan, as a holistic approach in planning and implementing cavern development and taking forward this innovative means of enhancing land supply.
User of the Cavern Master Plan
Any project proponent when planning/studying cavern development or identifying suitable site for developing cavern can make reference to the Cavern Master Plan.
Cavern Master Plan
The Cavern Master Plan (CMP) is a planning tool providing a broad strategic planning framework to guide and facilitate territory-wide cavern development in Hong Kong. The CMP, serving as user guidelines, is neither a statutory plan nor a development blueprint.
The CMP delineates Strategic Cavern Areas (SCVAs) that are suitable for cavern development in terms of geological considerations and the current planning perspectives. It aims to make known these SCVAs and their essential information to project proponents such that they can identify suitable cavern sites for their projects. The CMP is accompanied by an Explanatory Statement and a set of Information Notes.
The Explanatory Statement provides the key information on the CMP. It sets out the objectives of the CMP, outlines the rationale and methodology of delineating SCVAs, and highlights key issues for implementation.
Strategic Cavern Areas
The CMP delineates forty eight (48) SCVAs, of which 11 are on Hong Kong Island, 5 in Kowloon and 32 in the New Territories (including 7 on Lantau Island). The sizes of individual SCVAs range from approximately 30 to 200 hectares. The area of SCVAs does not represent the actual developable cavern footprint because provisions have to be made for buffer zones between individual facilities, intervening rock pillars for support and adits for portal access and inter-connection, etc.
For each SCVA, an Information Note is provided to describe the characteristics, development potential as well as constraints of the area. It includes details of the geological, planning, environmental and traffic characteristics and other key issues/constraints on cavern development. The Information Note also outlines the potential land uses and the extent of potential portal locations. A Reference Drawing is appended to each Information Note to illustrate the spatial context of the information provided.
The CMP, Explanatory Statement and Information Notes collectively serve to fulfil the objectives of facilitating territory-wide cavern development and promulgating essential information for project proponents both in the public and private sectors to identify suitable cavern sites for their development projects. The CMP will be updated by the CEDD and PlanD as necessary, taking account of changing circumstances.
Any cavern development project, no matter within or outside the SCVAs, should be assessed with individual merits, with due regard to development need and technical feasibility, and also in compliance with relevant administrative and regulatory requirements.
Please click the following link to download the Cavern Master Plan and its Explanatory Statement.
Click here to view the reports
Please click the individual Strategic Cavern Area on the figure or in the table below to download the respective Information Note and Reference Drawing.
Project proponents can also make reference to the relevant documents or websites as listed below when pursuing cavern development projects.
- Development Bureau Technical Circular (Works) No. 8/2017 on Rock Cavern Development
- Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, Planning Department
- Long-term Strategy for Cavern Development website
For enquiry, please contact the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering and Development Department or the Planning Department:
Geotechnical Engineering Office
Civil Engineering and Development Department
11/F, Civil Engineering and Development Building
101 Princess Margaret Road
Technical Services Section
17/F, North Point Government Offices
333 Java Road
Or by e-mail: email@example.com