Re-route hope in power-line battle
OBJECTORS to the Black Point power line gave up their battle yesterday for compensation from China Light and Power over the route of the high-voltage cable - but they claimed to have won reconsideration of the route by the Executive Council.
Alice Lam Wang Sum-mei, organiser of the Black Point Routing Objectors' Association, said the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch had told her a revised scheme of the arrangement was being drawn up for council consideration in September.
This scheme would set out the options of changing the route and the consequences of leaving it as it was, she said.
'If they do not re-route, we reserve the right to sue for administrative misjudgment,' she said.
Of the 100 claims before the Lands Tribunal yesterday, only three remained after the rest withdrew following legal advice, China Light and Power said.
A decision would be made on the three in October.
Under the Electricity Networks Ordinance, owners of property within a 50-metre corridor of the power lines are allowed to claim compensation. The 100 claims were put forward by owners outside this corridor.
John Glass, lawyer for some claimants, said they had put in their claims quickly to meet the time limit of a year after work had started, after being inadequately informed of the routing plan. Legal advice suggesting the claims would not stand up had followed.
Mrs Lam said lawyers had also suggested that the company would take the case to the High Court and Privy Council if they lost, meaning huge costs for the residents.
Costs of yesterday's hearing, understood to be hundreds of dollars, were charged to the residents.
CLP said one-third of owners of 440 lots of land within the 50-metre corridor had accepted compensation, set at 10 per cent of the resumption value if the Government took over the land.
A 'very small number' had taken their claims for more to the Lands Tribunal in a separate action, while the rest were undecided.
If all the owners accepted CLP's offer, payment would be $26 million, said spokesman Albert Chan Yu-chung.