Park's trees will be protected
THE article 'Green groups hit out at Victoria Park revamp' (Sunday Morning Post, February 12) speaks of the seemingly foregone conclusion that a large number of trees will be cut down during the redevelopment.
No municipal authority in the region is more zealous in its protection of trees than the Urban Council. The proposals made to the council's Recreation Select Committee on December 14, which formed the basis for your report, did not include any reference to, or need for, the felling of trees.
The council has a list of set procedures before the transplanting of any tree or, more extremely, its destruction, can be approved. Without going into these procedures in full, the following examples illustrate the stringency of these safeguards: The trees concerned should not be of an irreplaceable rare species or unusually large or fine examples of their type. A genuine development or traffic need to fell exists which cannot reasonably be overcome. The free flow of a water-course is obstructed by trees in a manner likely to cause floods and damage to property or life. The trees are in a poor and/or dangerous condition. The trees cause serious traffic safety problems in terms of sight-line provision which cannot be rectified by reasonable pruning. Compensatory replanting and landscaping will be carried out to the satisfaction of the council.
Furthermore, in continuation of its policies concerning the preservation of trees and the provision of more of them, the council funds the Green Hong Kong Campaign.
THOMAS A. HAHN Chief Information Officer for Director of Urban Services