Lamma Island
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Islanders taking protest to Patten

Lamma Island

A GROUP of angry Lamma residents will take their complaints about a controversial harbour reclamation project scheduled for the island's main village to Governor Chris Patten today.

The group will stage a protest outside the Legislative Council Building this afternoon and then will march to Government House, where members will attempt to present the Governor with a 1,000-signature petition.

The proposed reclamation project at Yung Shue Wan will alter the U-shaped harbour by extending the shoreline.

The Government also plans to install a sewage plant, refuse transfer station, dangerous goods depot and a public parking area at the shoreside.

On weekends, the ferries are crammed with tourist who go to Lamma for the seafood restaurants clustered along the waterfront.

Residents of the picturesque village complain the development will destroy the restaurants' trade and other businesses.

The Government plan would move many of the restaurants to a multi-storey complex, which some restaurant owners have complained overlooks a rubbish dump.

'We are not completely against the project, but what we do object to is the primitive design,' a group spokesman said.

'If they go through with this, the village will look like Silvermine Bay or Peng Chau. Lamma is unique and this type of beauty is rare in Hong Kong,' he said.

'The Government is showing no vision about development.' The residents' group has presented the Government with an alternative plan which would only slightly alter the shoreline, but still accommodate all the proposed development.

'There are also a number of people who would be displaced by this development and reclamation project,' the spokesman said.

'We find that most of the village is behind us. The fishermen have given us 100 per cent support.

'We have sent probably 100 letters to the the Lands Department.' The department said it had not received any protest letters, and was unaware there was a protest scheduled.

The reclamation project is scheduled to start in June next year and will be completed by January 1997.