Is it a public consultation when the public is not invited?
Local residents and NGOs are still fuming over their exclusion from a public consultation on Hong Kong long-term development plans – the latest in a series of steps that appear to be aimed at limiting criticism of the East Lantau Metropolis (ELM) project.
The plan to build an new retail, commercial and housing hub on 1000 hectares of sea reclamation off Lantau, with MTR and freeway links between Mui Wo and Central, could cost as much as HK$400 billion.
The Town Planning Board is weighing an application to build a caravan park in a Coastal Protection Area (CPA) at Cheung Sha.
A company called Well Power Investment Development Ltd has sought permission to place nine caravans on a site for three years and to build supporting facilities including a toilet, a storage area and a kiosk
The site covers 3,016 square metres, of which 85% is designated CPA, and applies to lots 62, 63, 64, 65, 66 S.B, 66 RP and 67 in D.D.331. The remainder is government land.
One of the directors of the company is Chan Shekmou, an indigenous resident of South Lantau, according to a company registry search by Apple Daily. It says the caravans will be placed on stone and will not impact on the vegetation and argues that the proposal is consistent with the government’s ambitions to make South Lantau a tourist zone. Continue reading
Mui Wo property prices are set to rise sharply, a senior Hong Kong real estate figure predicts.
Kam Hung-yu, a Hong Kong managing director at global estate giant CBRE and a former president of of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, predicts a major hike in residential valuations.
Writing in the Economic Journal he says the Housing Authority will start selling its new Mui Wo apartments in August. Mui Wo prices currently are at around $7000-$8000 psf, but after subsidies this will fall to as low as HK$5000.
“Some Hong Kong people believe the location is not attractive because it is too far [from the city],” he wrote. But he says citizens who qualify for the HA ‘green form’ subsidy should genuinely consider it. “This most likely is a housing market with very strong potential to rise in value,” he wrote. Continue reading
A classic case of cognitive dissonance: a think tank calls for preservation of South Lantau’s natural heritage, yet also urges construction of the East Lantau Metropolis (ELM).
A report by Tung Chee-wah’s Our Hong Kong Foundation on the city’s land supply says Hong Kong has had no major land development for more than a decade and the focus now should be on Lantau.
Like the government-appointed LanDAC commitee, it’s an enthusiast about Lantau’s economic potential because of its location at the centre of the Pearl River Delta.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) project has caused a drastic fall in dolphin numbers in the past year – and worse could be to come, says conservation group WWF.
The AFCD’s annual dolphin tracking report shows that the dolphin population in Lantau waters has fallen 60% to just 65. Continue reading
The East Lantau Metropolis (ELM) will require reclamation of around 1000 hectares in Hong Kong central waters, activists have calculated.
That is equivalent to roughly 1,000 rugby fields and compares with the 1,200 ha Chek Lap Kok Airport and the 130 ha artificial island for the Hong Kong-Macau Bridge landing zone.
If there’s one thing Lantau’s rural representatives agree on it’s roads.
They are urging construction of two roads in particular: a northwest coastal road from Tung Chung to Tai O, and a north-south link from Pak Mong, just east of Tung Chung, to Mui Wo.
The coastal road was canvassed in the early LanDAC plans – as was a road from Tai O to Fan Lau – but was rejected, either for reasons for cost or conservation. The north coast, which hosts villages such as San Tau and Sha Lo Wan, includes coastal wetlands and natural streams and habitat for butterflies and diverse rare species.
Randy Yu, Islands District Council vice-chairman and newly-elected member for South Lantau, complained that “authorities have never thought about a long-term transport strategy” for Lantau. Continue reading