Peng Chau residents oppose transmitter

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 November, 2008, 12:00am

Group objects to plan for radio facility

A group of Peng Chau residents submitted a petition to the government yesterday, objecting to plans by a private radio station to erect a radio transmitter on a hill on the island.

The transmitter is for a radio station planned by former Commercial Radio host Albert Cheng King-hon. Mr Cheng was this year granted a 12-year licence to run a 24-hour Cantonese-language AM channel. It is expected to begin operation in autumn next year.

The group had gathered about 1,500 signatures from residents and visitors.

Chan Chi-lin, the group's co-ordinator, said they learnt recently from a notice posted at the proposed site on Finger Hill that transmission facilities comprising two buildings and a 100-metre-tall antenna mast would be erected at the site.

A spokeswoman for the Lands Department said it had not approved the radio station's tenancy application, and public consultations would continue until the end of this week.

The department received the application for a short-term tenancy in August and approved ground investigation works, which finished recently. It will consider residents' objections and seek comments from other departments, the spokeswoman added.

Mr Cheng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The site boasts 180-degree sea views and is a popular place for morning exercise. It was also the route to the seaside, Mr Chan said, adding: 'A radio transmitter will not be in harmony with the beautiful surroundings.'

He was unhappy that lands officials were unable to give details of the project, such as whether trees would have to be cut, at a meeting last week.

'There's already a radio transmitter in the northern part of this island. We're worried radiation will affect our health,' said Sannie Chan Lit-fong, executive director of the Green Peng Chau Association, who pointed out that the closest residence was about 100 metres from the site.

The facility will destroy the beautiful scenery and deter tourists, she said, adding the radio mast itself would be taller than the 95-metre Finger Hill. 'Though it is said to be a short-term tenancy, I suspect the transmitter will be there forever.'

Fabian Pedrazzini, of the Green Lantau Association, said the group was waiting for the Lands Department to provide information on the short-term tenancy request, and would consider a response after a site visit tomorrow.

Daniel Lam Wai-keung, chairman of the Peng Chau Rural Affairs Committee, said the site was far from flats and there were not many trees around. 'But we understand residents' concerns, and we believe the proponent will listen to the people's views.'

The project may affect some graves in the valley, and compensation may be necessary, he added.