Brochure for Tung Chung flats silent on their noisy neighbour: the airport
Sales material for Tung Chung estate fails to mention that it's near airport and new bridge
Stuart Lau and Johnny Tam
The developer of a new estate in Tung Chung has been accused of misleading flat buyers after sales documents omitted to mention two noisy neighbours: the airport and the under-construction bridge to Macau.
Green Sense blamed the government for the situation, saying it did not go far enough when it tightened up sales guidelines for new flats earlier this year.
Maps printed on sales brochures for The Visionary - a 1,419-home estate in northern Tung Chung - show the Tung Chung new town and a 200-metre stretch of sea, but there is no sign of the nearby airport or reclaimed land that will be used to build a checkpoint for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.
The first batch of 318 flats went on sale on Saturday, with early sales said to be strong. Some 278 flats had been sold by yesterday, the developer said.
Roy Tam Hoi-pong of Green Sense said that although the brochure's illustration did not constitute a breach of the law, the presentation was "neither responsible nor moral".
His tests showed that noise at the site reached 85 decibels at night as a result of nearby flight routes. Noise levels should be below 70 decibels in urban areas, according to guidelines set down by the Environmental Protection Department in 1997.
"Most of the northerly windows [face] directly towards the take-off point for flights using the southern runway," Tam said. As well as noise, the estate will also be vulnerable to air pollution, Tam says, as "mainland cars that will use the bridge checkpoint in future mostly use diesel."
But Chung said the developer's maps complied with the new Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance. It also provided a shuttle-bus service for potential buyers to visit the site.
Thai buyer K.K. Lam, who spent HK$7 million on a three-bedroom flat, said a visit had left him "fully aware" of the site's proximity to the airport. "I think buyers should accept the fact that it's close to the airport and there is noise, but it's within an acceptable level."
But Tam said the new laws were inadequate.
"We did propose to the government that the maps should include a 2 kilometre radius of the site, but the government did not adopt this," Tam said, adding that The Visionary fell within 1.7 km of the nearest flight route.
The new rules were introduced in May to stop dishonest tactics by developers, who were accused of failing to mention flats' proximity to facilities that could cause inconvenience, such as landfills and hospitals.