• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 8:20am
NewsHong Kong

Building in Lantau country parks not ruled out, says development chief Paul Chan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 March, 2014, 5:30am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 March, 2014, 9:40am

Development chief Paul Chan Mo-po stoked a fresh row over the future of country parks yesterday, saying the government would not rule out building in protected areas to develop Lantau Island.

Speaking after the first meeting of the Lantau Development Advisory Committee, Chan said the government would listen to all points of view, including the idea advanced by some committee members that country parks should be developed.

The committee was created last month by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to advance his suggestion of building a commercial "metropolis" on an artificial island off Lantau, and to explore ways Lantau could benefit from the new bridge linking it to Macau and Zhuhai from 2016.

"We will look into the development [of the island] in the medium and long term," Chan said yesterday. "Planning for Hong Kong's future development will go beyond a period of five or 10 years. We will not confine it to any stringent principles."

It would "capitalise on Lantau's advantages as the confluence of major transport infrastructure linking Hong Kong, Macau and the western Pearl River Delta". But he said conservation would be on the agenda.

Members had "different opinions" regarding country parks, said Chan, who attracted controversy last year for floating the idea of developing parks.

Some 69 per cent of Lantau's 146 square kilometres is covered by country parks, and advisory committee member Franklin Lam Fan-keung last month suggested building in the parks.

Speaking after yesterday's meeting, committee member Wu Chi-wai, who opposes building in country parks, said the discussion was not based on a 2007 concept plan for Lantau, drawn up after public consultation. He was worried the country park boundaries specified in the plan would not be honoured.

Former Observatory chief Lam Chiu-ying, who has campaigned to save the country parks, said Chan's remarks were "unacceptable".

Green space should take up more than 40 per cent of cities, he said, citing a 2001 State Council instruction.

"While other cities are aiming for an increase (in greenery), we are doing the opposite. It's ridiculous," he said.


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This article is now closed to comments

Bearing in mind this Administration's style of transparency, "Not ruled out" means "has been planned". I am pretty sure about it, wait and see. Govt. would listen, yes , listen, that is all.
Developers are already busy working out how to exploit the opportunities, including developers from the Mainland, of course.
Mr. Chan, please stop speaking, no one wants to hear your selfish corrupted mouth speak.
The only reason why you still have your public service job is because your boss has no more supporters.
What a moron. The Lantau Development Advisory Committee is largely made up of greedy developers. Why is there not a single ecologist or environmentist on it?
These ignorant Philistines know nothing of the value of our Country Parks which belong to the people, not to them, and certainly not to the corrupt H Y K. Any development will only be of luxury housing which will enrich all the wrong people and destroy our watersheds, native flora and fauna, as is of course intended.
Roll on 2017 so we can kick out this rotten gang.
And it is even more frequently overlooked that millions of people who have right of abode in Hong Kong and are permanent residents, because they have HKID cards, are not even ordinarily or customarily resident here. So how are you defining permanent ?
It is often overlooked that HK is 3/4 countryside and is also one of the densest place to live in the world. There is a case for sensible development of Lantau Island. A lower density development, more green and open space. This is better than squeezing more people in overcrowded areas. With sensible development there can be more access and more people that can enjoy the country parks in Lantau. Any development in this area must be for HK permanent residents and property ownership should be restricted.
Uh...The problem with low density housing is that it is mostly called luxury housing...
This idiot should concentrate on developing his driving skills and leave the environment alone. It's no surprise that 'Mr. Sub-Divided Flat' landlord and owner of land the government just happen to want to develop be in favour of such a destructive policy. Only in HK would this clown keep his job!


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