An 850-year-old village hailed as the last relic of Kowloon's rural past is to be bulldozed after the failure of an appeal to preserve it. The Antiquities Advisory Board has decided that Nga Tsin Wai, a 12th-century village dwarfed by skyscrapers in the heart of Kowloon City, is not worth preserving. The decision means the village can now be swept away to make way for a high-rise commercial development drawn up by the Land Development Corporation and Cheung Kong Holdings. Hopes for the village's preservation rose when the board agreed to review the issue after a campaign by historian Dr Patrick Hase and a village head was highlighted by the Sunday Morning Post. Yesterday, Dr Hase described the board's confirmation of its earlier decision as 'extremely wrong'. 'The future generation will not thank them for this. It shows how shallow the Government's promise of protecting cultural heritage is,' he said. In a statement, the board said: 'Members considered the preservation of the village in situ not practicable.' The board made several visits to the village before making the decision, and found that many houses were dilapidated, a Home Affairs Bureau spokeswoman said. An article in the Post in June prompted the board to reconsider a 1994 ruling that the village possessed no value as a monument. 'These people don't understand what an historic monument is. The decision displays their ignorance,' Dr Hase said. Villagers were told nothing about the re-evaluation, the board visits or its decision. Former district board member Hugo Lam Man-fai, who has been elected to the Wong Tai Sin District Council and has close contact with the villagers, was also not told of the decision. 'I will not give up fighting for the village. There aren't many relics left in Hong Kong,' he said after learning of the decision. He said he would raise the issue with the district council next month. Mr Lam, also a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, said he would seek help from his Legco colleagues if he failed in his attempts to save the village. He questioned the wisdom of the decision, saying: 'The Government keeps saying it wants to promote tourism, but what do they expect the tourists to see when they demolish valuable historic buildings one by one?' Three non-legally binding recommendations were made by the Antiquities Advisory Board, urging the Land Development Corporation to preserve the most historic houses on site. It also called for detailed cartographic and photographic recording of the village and for relics identified to be salvaged and re-used in the future development. Dr Hase said: 'These are meaningless conditions. They cannot protect anything.' Cheung Kong has refused to comment on the project.