Park structures torn down
Lands officers entered a rural leader's recreational park in Yuen Long on Tuesday and removed illegal structures, a day after being confronted by angry villagers there.
Tai Tong Lychee Valley's 12,000 square metres encroach on Tai Lam Country Park. It has illegally occupied 5,000 sq m of government land for 18 years, the Audit Commission reported last month.
Workers - backed by more than 100 police officers - used a crane to pull down a two-storey entrance arch and other structures including a toilet and porches built on government land.
Key members of the Heung Yee Kuk, including chairman Lau Wong-fat, turned up to show their support against what they called an unco-operative government.
But Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the removal - five weeks after the park was held up as a high-profile example of inaction over illegal occupation of government land - upheld the administration's 'credibility in governance'.
Kuk leaders at the scene said demolition was not the most suitable means of dealing with such land disputes in the New Territories. Kuk vice-chairman and lawmaker Cheung Hok-ming said villagers whose lands were hemmed in by government land should be able to pay rent so as to develop their site, or be offered land elsewhere. He said demolition failed to 'take landowners' feelings into account'.