New Territories scrap yards may go

NEW Territories landlords may be forced to stop using their land as scrap yards or container storage areas.

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Tony Eason, under pressure from legislators to restore the rural landscape, said reinstatement notices might be issued.

Jimmy McGregor said about 40 to 50 million square feet of land in the western New Territories was being misused and landlords were cashing in.

Mr Eason said the Government was reviewing the Town Planning Ordinance and an amendment was in the pipeline to deal with abuses. A White Bill would be published by early 1994.

Legal sector representative, Simon Ip Sik-on, said he was disappointed with the ''bureaucratic response'', and demanded the secretary tell members when the Government would stop rural land being used for scrap yards.

Mr Eason said the Government was committed to improving the situation but had to proceed legally.

About 1,000 warning letters had been sent out to landlords regarding unauthorised development and 17 stop notices had been issued, he said.

''So far, we have not got reinstatement notices, but no doubt, we will.'' Mr Eason said the area of land used for open storage amounted to 700 hectares, and demand was high.