A developer who has become a Buddhist says his proposed plans for the sensitive Sha Lo Tung area will provide a spiritual element and benefit conservation. Joseph Fong Tsung-hun said the Sha Lo Tung Development Company planned to build a temple next to its proposed columbarium, turning the site into 'pure land'. Mr Fong, whose company lost a long fight to turn the area into a golf course, was speaking a day after his bid was revealed by the government along with nine others for ecological priority areas. 'We will not just do physical conservation of the land but spiritual conservation of the people. That's why we have proposed building a comprehensive temple complex facility,' he said. It would be 'on a par' with the Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill. Mr Fong said his life had changed while he was finalising the plans. He became a Buddhist 10 months ago. He said the columbarium, where families will pay to house their ancestors' funeral urns, 'is an attachment ... we hope the complex will help people know more about Buddha's teachings'. The development, to be built on 'disturbed' ground at the edge of the site, would be entrusted to a Buddhist religious body. The rest of the site would be managed by Green Power. The developer fought a long legal battle against zoning restrictions that block a golf course from being built on the site, ranked second on a list of 12 priority ecological sites. But Mr Fong said he did not want to spend time 'arguing' any more because there was now a window of opportunity to develop Sha Lo Tung differently. According to the plan submitted by the company, it will spend $80 million on building the temple and columbarium, while most of the site would be surrendered to the government. An education centre would also be built.