Residents criticise plan for camp site

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 January, 2008, 12:00am

Proposal 'legitimises damage' to the area

A landowner and self-proclaimed nature lover's proposal to turn a trashed conservation area into a camping ground in Clear Water Bay has angered residents.

The Wing Lung Road Concern Group - which had objected to a plan for luxury housing just 50 metres south of the proposed camping area - claimed the proposal would legitimise damage already done to the area.

But a source close to Lung Bo International Development said it was considering withdrawing the proposal at the end of the public consultation period, which ends on Monday. The company's director, Wong Kin-lung, could not be reached yesterday.

According to a submission made to the Town Planning Board through I Architects Limited commissioned by Lung Bo, 1,978 square metres of the site within the statutory conservation area would be turned into a camping area.

'The owner's a nature lover. He intends to develop the area where relatives and friends can enjoy and share the beautiful landscape in Sai Kung,' the submission said, adding that the plan could also cultivate environmental awareness.

A car park and an access road 3.5 metres wide linking Hang Hau Wing Lung Road to the site was also proposed.

Although the proposal is still in the planning process, opponents said the site had been damaged by unknown parties when the access road was illegally built more than a year ago. 'This seemingly straightforward application is actually an attempt to legitimise one of the worst cases of destruction of conservation land in Clear Water Bay,' said the concern group, which was formed by residents late last year.

The group said the landowner had failed to protect the site and allowed the destruction of hundreds of trees, with no intention of replanting them.

It expressed doubts about the camping area proposal, asking whether it had to do with the plan for luxury housing nearby. That plan drew nearly 200 objections.

Lau Kwai-fong, an indigenous villager from nearby Pan Long Wan, said it would be unfair if the camping area plan went ahead on the site that had been so badly damaged.

He said trees that were more than 100 years old were felled and the access road intruded on graveyards.

Lau Hon-por, the village head of Pan Long Wan, fears the plan will affect the graveyard and fung shui of his village.

A Planning Department source yesterday said it had asked the landowner to dig up the cement on the site and return the area to its 2002 condition.

The source said the department was closely monitoring the situation and had found no works had been carried out on the site since then.