Power-line payout applications fail
A JUDGE has ruled two companies owning land adjacent to ground over which new power lines are to pass are not entitled to compensation.
Judge Cruden said yesterday more than 100 landowners had originally filed applications for compensation over the proposed Black Point Power Transmission System.
But they were entitled to compensation only if their land was within the boundaries of a 'statutory easement' - a 25-metre corridor stretching along the area where the power lines would pass, he said.
Judge Cruden, presiding officer of the Lands Tribunal, said the issue had become a matter of public controversy.
But this was the situation existing under the law, he said, and landowners would have to persuade the Government to change the law if they wanted compensation.
'It is not a matter for this tribunal but for the executive and legislature,' Judge Cruden said.
The firms, Yicon Limited and Gain Million Development Limited, both own land in Yuen Long.
Their lawyer, David Wong, argued the right to compensation was not limited to those owning land within the corridor. But Nigel Kat, for China Light and Power Co Ltd (CLP), rejected the suggestion.
CLP applauded the Lands Tribunal decision, saying the power company had 'complied with all necessary government procedures and met various legislation requirements'.
A CLP spokesman said all eligible landowners had either accepted compensation or were awaiting assessment by the Lands Tribunal.
'The decision effectively disposes of all outstanding claims arising from properties outside this corridor,' spokesman Katherine Ma Miu-wah said.
Angry residents living along the power corridor have accused CLP of not properly informing them about the project. They say the high voltage lines are a health risk.
Research in the United States and Europe has linked high voltage lines to increased incidents of cancers such as leukaemia.
The power lines will stretch across the New Territories, running from Black Point Power Station in the west to Tseung Kwan O in the east.