A controversial luxury residential project bordering the Mai Po nature reserve in Yuen Long has secured the initial go-ahead from government planners. The Planning Department said it had no objection to the application, despite public concerns about possible harm to the natural habitat of birds. At the centre of the debate is a proposed low-rise residential development plan by Henderson Land, which contains about 350 units of two- to four-storey houses. The site is now used for open storage for containers and truck parking. There are also grassland, freshwater marshes and drainage ditches. The site abuts Wo Shang Wai village, and Palm Springs and Royal Palms - both Sun Hung Kai Properties projects. Some 4.7 hectares of wetland habitat could be lost, but Henderson Land proposed creating a wetland restoration area to compensate. Of the 431 submissions received during the public consultation in May, 394 opposed the project. Only 37 supported it.