Kuk judicial review threat over country park plan

Concern group accuses the government of breaking promise to preserve private enclaves

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 5:45am

A Heung Yee Kuk concern group plans to file a judicial review against the government's decision to fold a private enclave on Sai Kung's Tai Long Wan coast into the surrounding country park.

The rural body yesterday endorsed a suggestion by group leader Joseph Mo Ka-hung to lodge a judicial review against the decision, saying the government had broken a promise.

The plan comes after the chief executive and the Executive Council approved draft maps for incorporating the enclave into the Sai Kung East Country Park, nearly three years after a public uproar over excavation of some of the land by a private owner.

Mo, a member of the kuk's executive council, said yesterday his group was discussing with lawyers the possible grounds for a review and details had yet to be drafted.

But the general theme was that the government was breaking its promise that private land and villages would not be taken into country parks, he said.

"It hasn't done enough to listen to us. It's not respecting us," he said.

He said kuk minutes could prove the government had made the promise.

Mo said the group had also complained to the Ombudsman about the procedures involving the Country and Marine Parks Board.

"The board members are all appointed by the government, and stakeholders' voices were not heard," he said.

The group also plans a public meeting for affected villagers to express their views.

The board will discuss progress in incorporating the enclave into the country park tomorrow.

Also being incorporated into country parks are enclaves in Kam Shan and Yuen Tun.

Meanwhile, the kuk's former headquarters in Kowloon Tong was sold for HK$178 million, more than enough for the construction of the current building in Shek Mun, which will cost HK$71 million including consultation fees.

But an agent said the price was below market expectations.

A source said the remaining money would be invested in the property market, with a likely yield of HK$2.4 million a year for the kuk.

He did not reveal the identity of the buyer, but said it was a company. It was one of three bidders, he said.

The property has been on the market at an asking price of above HK$220 million since the middle of 2011.