Farmer gets $1.3m pylon payout

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 1996, 12:00am

China Light and Power was yesterday ordered to pay a retired man $1.3 million for building pylons on his land.

District Court Judge Gordon Cruden ruled the company's Black Point power line had caused a 25 per cent devaluation in the agricultural land owned by Leung Sum-ting, 70.

'On the balance of probabilities . . . the evidence establishes that the open market value of the property has been diminished,' he said.

Judge Cruden said the tribunal would reserve its position on similar cases which might come before it. The Land Tribunal heard that company got government approval on March 8, 1994, to erect power lines above ground for the Black Point transmission system.

Mr Leung said the power lines caused the value of his seven lots of land in Tuen Mun, then worth $5.35 million, to decrease by more than $1.4 million.

The land was mainly rented out for chicken farming and vegetable planting, the court was told.

Lawyer Nigel Kat, representing the company, had argued that no compensation should be awarded because there was no conclusive evidence to prove the land value had been diminished by the power lines.

The judge ordered the company to pay $1,338,500.

A spokesman for the company said landowners affected by the construction were given a 12-month grace period to file claims. He said this was the last compensation case lodged.

But Lachmi Butani, spokesman for Fei Ngo Shan Residents' Association which has been fighting the siting of Black Point power lines near their Clear Water Bay homes, said they should also be compensated because their houses had depreciated.

'But [the farmer's] situation is different in that the station was actually on his land. The pylons are not on our land,' she said.