They came without asking, but they needed permission to leave. The three diggers that turned upside down the scenic landscape of Sai Wan, on Sai Kung's Tai Long Wan coast, can now be moved off the beach. But officials remained tight-lipped about what would happen to those responsible for illegally bringing them there. 'We are still seeking legal advice on the case and we cannot reveal any further details at this stage,' a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said yesterday. The spokesman said a permit was issued on Friday for the machinery and equipment to be removed from Sai Wan. The owners or operators of the diggers will have two weeks - from tomorrow until August 26 - to complete the removal. The spokesman said it was unclear when the task would be carried out, or to where the machinery would be moved. He would not reveal who had applied to remove the diggers, how they would be transported or what conditions were attached to the permit. The department granted approval to remove the machinery two weeks after it received the request on July 23. Such requests are normally handled within three days, but the process was extended to give officers more time to investigate the case. The diggers were thought to have been illegally brought to the site by sea some time before June. The department said earlier it had not given permission for the action, which amounted to trespass when the diggers were taken across the beach in the country park. The diggers had been seen in operation at the site - excavating the land and forming two artificial ponds - until July 22, when the work was halted. Under the Country Parks Ordinance it is an offence to bring into the parks any vehicles without a permit. Those who do so could be fined HK$2,000 or jailed for three months. According to the department's application guidelines, the free permit will not be issued unless it is 'absolutely necessary' to bring a vehicle into a park. It will normally only consider applications from residents or those carrying out official duties or work, or other activities approved by the department. If the applicant is a local villager, they need to provide proof of their address. Peter Li Siu-man, campaign manager of the Conservancy Association, yesterday welcomed the diggers' departure, but urged the department to enforce the law. 'There should not be any further delay in bringing those responsible to justice,' he said.