Planners disagree with opponents of artificial-beach plan in Tai Po

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 October, 2008, 12:00am

The Planning Department does not agree with objections to the proposed artificial beach in Tai Po.

Two green groups and 20 individuals objected to the government proposal to rezone Tolo Harbour's Lung Mei coastline as a bathing beach during the public consultation for the project. More than 4,400 individuals and Tai Po villagers favour the plan.

In a paper to be discussed by the Town Planning Board on Friday, the Planning Department said it did not support the views of those opposed to the project, who object on ecological grounds.

In a 10-month survey completed in August, the Wildlife Forum found 200 species of plants, birds, fish and intertidal life in Lung Mei.

In response, the department's paper quoted the project's government-commissioned environmental impact assessment, which said the construction and operation of a man-made beach would cause no unacceptable impacts. That assessment is still awaiting approval by the director of the Environmental Protection Department.

The opponents' proposal that Lung Mei be rezoned as a conservation area was greeted with 'reservations' by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. It said Lung Mei did not contain specific features for conservation. It did not address the green groups' argument that the coast was home to endangered intertidal species.

More than 4,400 people have submitted comments in support.

The HK$130 million proposal would see 1 hectare of land reclaimed for 100 parking spaces, and a building for tourists.

Meanwhile, the board will also discuss an application by Television Broadcasts to erect radar installations and a 5-metre building on the top of Mount Nicholson on Hong Kong Island for digital broadcasting. The proposal had been rejected earlier because it would be a visual blight.

The company has, in response, suggested additional greenery and peripheral planting to blend the structure into the surroundings.




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