Housing project at centre of village row

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 January, 2011, 12:00am

Embattled Tsoi Yuen villagers believe they are deprived of road access connecting their new village site and a main road because they are in the way of a development project.

Ko Chun-heung, the head of the villagers' concern group, indicated this after the latest round of talks with executive councillor and Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat collapsed yesterday.

Lau made a revised offer to the villagers during a one-hour meeting. He wants them to sell 12,000 square feet of land near the entrance to the new village and pay HK$300,000 in exchange for road access.

The villagers were previously asked to pay either HK$5 million or 12,000 sqft of land plus HK$500,000.

The land accounts for 8.3 per cent of the villagers' new home and is next to a site earmarked for small houses and a car park.

Forty-seven Tsoi Yuen families are locked in a struggle between MTR bulldozers at their old village in Pat Heung and hostile indigenous villagers banning them from using an existing road to the site of their new village.

Their old village has to be demolished to make way for the HK$66.9 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail link.

The villagers have been unable to start building their new homes because they have to pay an 'access fee' to the other villagers.

At the meeting yesterday, Ko said Lau told the villagers a developer, Lau Bin, had the ultimate say on the road access.

'This person, Lau Bin, I have never heard of him before. The names Lau mentioned previously were no longer mentioned this time,' Ko said. 'We really don't know how to handle this situation.'

Lau could not be reached for comment.

In a document submitted to the Legislative Council yesterday, the Transport and Housing Bureau defended its non-intervention, describing the dispute as a business deal between Tsoi Yuen villagers and the indigenous people.