The Town Planning Board is finally lifting the veil of secrecy shrouding some of its deliberations - but people will still be barred from the room in which it meets. They will only be allowed to watch part of the proceedings, and only on closed-circuit television in an adjoining room. Only 50 people will be allowed to see each broadcast. Those wishing to watch the board's proceedings will have to book seats in advance, with reservations opening every Monday. Minutes of meetings will be made public, but will not indicate which board members said what. Presentations to the board by developers and residents will be 'open' to the public, but discussions of planning proposals will remain confidential under the Town Planning Ordinance. The first 'open' meeting will be held next week. Deputy Director of Planning Ophelia Wong Yuen-sheung defended the board's partial transparency. 'We don't have enough space in the conference room to accommodate many people,' she said. 'More importantly, we don't want people's coming and leaving to disturb the meetings.' Paul Zimmerman, convenor of the lobby group Designing Hong Kong Harbour District, called on the board to change the venue of its meetings from the North Point government offices to City Hall or the former urban council chamber in Central, which has a public gallery. Amendments to the law also give planning officials more power to protect rural land from destruction. Unauthorised development, such as turning farmland into parking lots without permission, must be suspended immediately once a government warning letter is received. To book your seat to watch board proceedings, phone 2231 5061, fax 2877 0245 or 2522 8426, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .