Developers and rural land owners accused of dodgy dealings in Shui Mei Tsuen, Yuen Long

By Ben Pang

The claims have been made by a conservation group

By Ben Pang |

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The 400-year-old Kam Tin tree may need to be removed to make way for the construction.

An environmental group has criticised what it calls a shady development scheme in Shui Mei Tsuen, Kam Tim, in Yuen Long.

The Conservancy Association’s assistant campaign manager, Roy Ng Hei-man, told Young Post yesterday that a developer called Mix Vantage Limited sold approximately 1.9 hectares of land, or 72 lots, well below market rate to rural landowners surnamed Tang in 2014 so that they could use their land rights to build village houses on the land and resell it to other developers for a profit. It is believed that the developers who sold the land are related to the rural landowners.

The land in question drew similarities to an illegal scheme uncovered in Sha Tin’s Tai Che Village last year, which ended in 11 villagers and a developer being jailed for conspiracy to defraud by selling their land rights.

Ng also said there was a road under construction near the land in Kam Tim. He criticised the government for using the name “Rural Public Works” to approve the work without district council consultation. He suspected collusion between the government and rural leaders.

A Planning Department spokeswoman told Young Post the builders did not need to apply for permission.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Department said the construction of a wider road would alleviate traffic problems and make life more convenient for residents.

Ng also raised concerns over the construction of small villages, saying it would threaten the conservation and landscape value of Shui Mei Tsuen.

The Planning Department told Young Post it had issued 127 Enforcement Notices and 86 Restoration Notices in the past 10 years.

Ng called on the government to take stricter action on the illegal dumping that was happening, and to explain the collusion between the government and rural leaders.