Tai Po Green Belt, over 10 years violation of the original use for open storage & construction waste storage
Tai Po Green Belt illegal use for open storage and construction waste storage
Located next to The Education University of Hong Kong, area up to 9 of football field
The Satellite imagery shows the illegal storage covers areas are expanded, including lands owned by Wheelock Properties
Planning Department has been ineffective in its law enforcement regarding to years of complaints by the University and the residents nearby
Since the illegal land filling nearby at Tai Shui Wai, Kingswood Villas has been reported, the public were concerns about the fly-tipping and unauthorized developments. Green Sense have investigated an area in 9 hectares in Tai Po Located next to The Education University of Hong Kong. We found the illegal use of the land but the Planning Department has been ineffective in its law enforcement, from the Land search and look over the Satellite imagery for past 10 years.
According to the Tai Po outline Zoning Plan, the land should be zoned as Green Belt. The vegetation cover was stripped and trees were removed since 2000. The green area have strunk and turned to open storage for construction waste, large machines, temporary containers etc. Now the violation of land use is up to 9 football fields (see below).
The Education University of Hong Kong and the residents nearby have complained many times. It is impossible that the Planning Department and Lands Department shut their eyes to this situation. However, the government has not enforced the law which allowed landowners to cut down the woodland and leave the land contaminated.
According to the Land registry, the Land is owned by many owners. Among them, Wheelock Properties owns most of the lots. We are concerned that the land was destroyed deliberately in order to turn it to “Brown Field” systematically. It is obvious a case of “destroy first, develop later”. The Government should not condone this.
Meanwhile, a piece of land at Tai Po Lo Fai Road with thousands of trees will be planned by the government to build luxurious residential units and it is already for the land sale. The proposed alteration of land use is still under judicial review.
The Chief Executive (voluntary) of Green Sense, Roy Tam said “ The Government’s land management in the New Territories is totally reckless, they allow landowners and properties developers to destroy the natural environment wantonly. On the other hand, the government alters the land use from Green Belt to build the luxurious residential house.”
We solemnly urge the Lands Department to clarify whether the 9 hectares of land is government land. We also requested to the Lands Department and the Planning Department to enforce the Town Planning Ordinance and the land lease conditions in order to request those landowners to restore the Green Belt as soon as possible.
Postscript: The follow up
After holding a press conference by Green Sense, the Planning Department replied the land is not covered by Development Permission Area Plans. Therefore, they cannot carry out prosecution.
Green Sense believes this is only an excuse. There was so much evidence proving the violation of land use stated in the outline zoning plan. If no department can carry out any enforcement in this situation, the legislation should be amended as soon as possible. The Planning Department should state clearly what action should be taken after the violation of the outline zoning plan. We cannot accept the department to turn a blind eye.
Development Permission Area Plans (DPA) – areas not covered by Outline Zoning Plan or the country park enclaves; the Planning Department can have control to unauthorized development in these areas. DPA will be replaced by Outline Zoning Plan later.
Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) – the violation of land use mentioned above is covered by Tai Po Outline Zoning Plan and listed as Green Belt.Comments