Waste keeps piling up but teachers' institute is told nothing can be done to save the Tai Po valley The Hong Kong Institute of Education has renewed its demands that the government put a stop to the dumping of construction waste in a neighbouring valley in Tai Po, which it says has worsened in recent months. But the government says the dumping is not illegal. A spokeswoman for the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau said: 'As this is privately owned farmland, there is no violation of the land lease in regard to landfilling. However, we did offer advice to the landowner to ensure that the activity would not cause any hygiene and environmental problems.' Over the past five years the institute has lodged more than 20 complaints against the dumping, which has turned the land into an eyesore next to the campus. But it has been told by various government departments that the dumping is legal. The land, near Tsiu Lam, used to be a quiet green valley but has been turned into a car park, a garage, storage for construction materials and a dumping ground for construction waste. College staff have photographed the dumping and even bought an aerial photo from the government to better monitor the site. It is understood most of the land is owned by a developer who leases the land for various operations. But it is not known if the owner has any development proposal planned for the land. The aerial photo shows a 500-metre long and up to 30-metre wide S-shape stripe blighting the centre of the valley. Trucks have been spotted going in regularly to offload waste. The institute campus overlooks the valley from the north and the luxury Forest Hill apartment blocks from the west. 'Over the past two to three months, the dumping activities are intensifying and coming closer and closer to our campus,' institute vice-president Norman Ngai Wai-yiu said. 'We want to know what they are doing but we are not able to get an answer. 'There is nothing we can do except complain, complain and complain. But we feel it is a shame [to let this happen].' Earlier this week, the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau, in response to another case, threatened that land rezoning would not be allowed if the surrounding environment was damaged. Under existing zoning policy, landfilling and storage is allowed on private farmland as long as there is no structure built on the site. A spokeswoman for the Hong Yip Service Company, the management agent of Forest Hill, said it preferred the valley to remain green, but realised it could not interfere in private land use. 'Some clients ... lodged complaints to the government years ago but they were also told that little could be done because the land is privately owned,' she said. The spokeswoman added that since then no more complaints had been heard and there had been some improvement to the dumping site following checks by government officials.