Court blocks valley development

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2001, 12:00am

Updated at 6.12pm:
Hong Kong's environmental movement got a massive boost on Tuesday after developers failed in their bid to overturn a decision to make part of Sha Lo Tung Valley a site of special scientific interest.

Mr Justice Peter Cheung Chak-yau said in his Court of First Instance judgement that it was essential to maintain a balance between development and conservation. The Government's temporary designation of the northeast part of Sha Lo Tung valley, Taipo, was both rational and justified, the judge said.

Sha Lo Tung Development Company Limited, whose project of a recreational and housing development has all along objected the Town Planning Board's land designation which would obstruct development projects in the area.

Mr Justice Cheung said the company's attempt was doomed to failure and a waste of time, arguing that it was too late to ask the Board to replace the plan which was intended as an interim measure. The existing plan is due to expire on January 24 and a final zoning plan is to supercede it.