The Ng family, the major shareholder of Sino Land, is suing the government for more than HK$432 million after shelving a plan to build three residential towers at Hong Kong Gold Coast in Tuen Mun. Baynard, a private company wholly owned by the family, is seeking the repayment of land premium for lease modification, as well as administration fees and interest costs. The company said in a statement the government had permitted it to build three additional residential towers in phase two of Hong Kong Gold Coast in 1996. A year later, the government gave permission for it to build a hotel extension nearby. Sources said the company had paid HK$400.71 million in lease modification for the three residential towers, and HK$32.63 million for the hotel extension. However, the residential development plan was rejected by the Town Planning Board in 1999 amid fierce opposition from individual vendors at Hong Kong Gold Coast, who feared views from their units could be obstructed. The plan was frozen for years and the Ng family eventually retreated to avoid losses, given flat values had plunged more than 60 per cent compared with their peak in 1997, said a source. Baynard had applied to build three 25-storey apartments with about 297,800 sq ft in total floor area. The land premium paid can be translated into an average land value of HK$1,345 per square foot. Analysts said the developer could suffer losses if it proceeded with the development, given the secondary flat value in Tuen Mun had shrunk to below HK$2,000 per square foot. A spokesman for Baynard declined to comment apart from confirming a halt to the development plan. Baynard said in its statement that the residential development had met with strong opposition from certain individual owners at Hong Kong Gold Coast. In a bid to resolve the dispute, Baynard halted work and met owners, government officials and Legislative Council members but no settlement could be reached, it said.