CLP land price slammed
By KATHY GRIFFIN
CHINA Light and Power was granted the right yesterday to install power lines across the New Territories for its new Black Point power station, but the move was criticised because of the cheap price China Light is paying for the land.
The application to build transmission lines from Black Point to Sha Tin was approved by the Executive Council.
The line will pass through Crown land, including Tai Lam Country Park, and China Light will be charged $590,000 each year for using the land, or $10 a square metre - a fee observers feel is ridiculously low.
Legislative Councillor Peter Wong Hong-yuen and the green group Friends of the Earth said the amount made country parks a cheap option for development.
''The very low fee charged seems to be symptomatic of the value of country parks,'' Mr Wong said.
The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Tony Eason, said he had ''no objections'' to reviewing the charges.
Lisa Hopkinson of Friends of the Earth said: '' We think it's [the land price] arbitrary and artificially low. Whether or not China Light is providing an essential service, country parkland is essential for its amenity and conservation value.''