To target Fanling golf course for Hong Kong housing is to drive a nail into the coffin of sensible land planning
- This will rob future generations of a pristine environment, essential with all the development proposed for the New Territories
A lifetime of work in land administration taught me that you should preserve the environment wherever possible, and if development is to take place, then it should do so in those areas that have degraded the environment.
The unanimous view of the Task Force on Land Supply to include part of Fanling golf course as one of the early options for development is to me a nail in the coffin of sensible land administration and planning, as its inclusion will not solve the housing problem and instead rob future generations of a pristine environment, essential with all the development that is proposed for the New Territories.
The fact that it is a golf course is irrelevant in the environmental context. Also that it is now held on a 21-year private recreational lease obscures the fact that this course previously existed under an old lease that was surrendered as part of a regularisation exercise to amalgamate different land tenures, and the course is around 100 years old with considerable heritage value.
Covering it in concrete not only takes away a first-class sporting facility, but takes away the ability of the area to mitigate the pollution caused by all the proposed development. There has to be a balance.
Concentrate on proper planning of the brownfield sites and land held by developers, as both these elements can contribute towards solving the problem. Plan the “new development areas” around existing villages, upgrade the amenities and preserve the good agricultural land in these areas to add to the greenery. Perhaps then, people will see the government really cares and does want to create a decent environment for people to live in and enjoy.
Allan Hay, Tai Po