Illegal fung shui wall still standing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am

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A village landowner in Sai Kung has defied an order to demolish a fung shui wall illegally erected to block a house's view of a burial ground.

The Buildings Department issued the order to the owner of the land in Sha Kok Mei on May 31, instructing him to remove the three-storey wall within three months, but more than a month after the deadline expired on August 30 the wall remains standing with new palm trees planted on the side facing the house.

The demolition order was issued to Chu Kwok-kuen, who, according to the land registry, owns the land on which the green wall was erected. But it was not clear whether he had built the wall or whether he knew of or had authorised its construction.

No one has admitted building the wall, although village head Li Fuk-hung and house owner Li Fei have previously blamed each other.

Chu inherited half of his property in 1996 and in 2007 paid relatives HK$380,000 for the other half. There is no house on the land, which is adjacent to rows of tombs with urns storing human remains.

Guy Shirra, chairman of Friends of Sai Kung, who alerted authorities to the wall in February, said the Buildings Department was possibly too understaffed or overworked to give the case priority.

He said the wall could become a threat to public safety. 'It will be too bad if it blows down during a typhoon and kills or injures someone. Has it been inspected by a structural engineer from the Dangerous Buildings Division?'

Shirra said the department had been told about the wall while it was being built and should have acted earlier.

The Buildings Department has not said what it will do about the wall if no one pulls it down.

Li Fuk-hung said Li Fei could have erected the wall to shield his home from the urns, while the latter said the villagers did it for fung shui reasons because the edge of the house pointed at the tombs like a knife.

The village head said he not know if the Buildings Department had issued any enforcement order to the landowner to remove the wall and had no idea why it was still there.

'This is private land ... what has it to do with the Buildings Department, which always makes things messy?' he asked. 'I don't see any danger. The villagers living nearby don't think so and there are also no hikers going through there.'