Fairview Park, villagers shake on road deal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 March, 2009, 12:00am

Fairview Park managers and nearby villagers reached a deal yesterday in their decade-old dispute over the use of a private road through the estate after two days of intervention by New Territories heavyweight and executive councillor Lau Wong-fat.

They agreed that truck drivers would be able to use Fairview Park Boulevard between 10am and 6pm - and at other times if other roads were blocked by an accident.

The agreement came at a meeting at which government officials said a HK$100 million road, to be opened by 2012, would be built to provide an alternative route from Tai Sang Wai village - home to a large number of truck drivers - to container parks and the Lok Ma Chau border crossing.

The government will also press the Yuen Long District Council to allocate HK$1.5 million under the district minor works programme for one-off maintenance work on the boulevard.

San Tin Rural Committee chairman Man Fu-wan said the committee welcomed the agreement and was pleased the dispute could finally come to an end.

'Mr Lau kept appealing to us all to stay calm and live in harmony with our neighbours,' he said. 'This new arrangement should be able to meet different needs of villagers and the Fairview Park residents.'

Stanley Chiang Chi-wai of the Lok Ma Chau China-Hong Kong Freight Association said truck drivers would use the new road.

'The new road is directly connected with Castle Peak Road, which is more convenient and direct,' he said.

The present alternative, Kam Pok Road, was not popular because drivers had to reach it by a circuitous route.

Fairview Park general manager Albert Lam Kwok-fai said he hoped the estate would communicate better with the villagers in future to avoid conflict.

'With executive councilor Lau Wong-fat's involvement in this incident, we believe the government will help us monitor the road-use situation more closely,' he said. 'The private road has been open for public use for so many years and it is reasonable for the government to subsidise the road maintenance.'

But Yuen Long district councillor Lee Yuet-man, who chairs the district facilities management committee, disagreed.

'The government must seek approval from the committee I chair in order to go ahead with the HK$1.5 million road maintenance project. Many district councillors sitting on this committee have already told me they would not support the proposal,' Mr Lee said.

'Most think it is not appropriate to use public funds to solve a private dispute.'

Fairview Park Owners' Association committee member Chan Siu-man was also upset.

'I am worried truck drivers will continue to use the private road after the new road is built. Also, will trucks be allowed to use the boulevard after the new road is built? The problem remains unsolved,' he said.