Reply To: Po Toi merits country park status


email from Town Planning Board:

Draft Po Toi Islands Development Permission Area Plan No. DPA/I-PTI/1

(Representation No. R82)

        I refer to my letter to you dated 21.9.2012.

        After giving consideration to the representations and related comments, the Town Planning Board (TPB) noted on 28.9.2012 the views of the representations in support of the draft Development Permission Area (DPA) Plan and agreed to advise you that:

the DPA Plan is an interim plan which can be replaced by an Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) within 3 years.  In the preparation of the OZP, land use zonings for the Area will be comprehensively reviewed subject to a more detailed analysis of the land use pattern, infrastructural provisions, environmental and ecological values and local need.  Relevant stakeholders including green groups, the concerned government departments, Islands District Council, and the Lamma Island South Rural Committee will also be consulted.

        The TPB also decided not to propose amendments to the above Plan to meet the representations for the following reasons:

Designation of Conservation Zonings (R1 to R7, R9 to R74, R76 to R79, R82 and R83)

(a)        whilst there is potential to designate conservation zonings, including “Conservation Area” (“CA”), “Coastal Protection Area” (“CPA”) and/or “Site of Special Scientific Interest” (“SSSI”), in the Area (especially in Po Toi), the details of the designation need to be carefully studied in the course of OZP preparation to ensure a balance between the rights of indigenous villagers of Po Toi and nature conservation should be struck.  Relevant assessments/studies on various aspects including ecology, environment, landscape, geology, etc. will be conducted in consultation with the government departments concerned.  Relevant stakeholders will be consulted during the process;

Designation of Country Park / Marine Mark (R1 to R7, R9 to R74, R76 to R79, R82 and R83)

(b)        designation of Country Park and Marine Park is under the jurisdiction of the Country and Marine Parks Authority (CMPA) governed by the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208) and Marine Parks Ordinance (Cap. 476) which are outside the purview of the TPB;


        Boundary of the “Village Type Development” (“V”) zone (R2 and R3)

(c)        the current “V” zone boundary has primarily reflected the existing village clusters and has excluded the sandy beach at Tai Wan.  It has also taken the coastline, existing man-made features, the high water mark level, ‘village environs’, local topography and site characteristics into account, avoiding any ecologically sensitive areas and stream courses;   


Proposals not directly related to the DPA Plan

        Provision of facilities in the Area (R4 and R8)

(d)        the appropriateness to provide tourist, infrastructure and utility facilities for tourism and recreational purposes in the Area requires detailed consideration and assessments in consultation with relevant government departments.  As such, the need for providing such facilities in the Area and designation of appropriate zonings, if required, will be further studied at the preparation of the OZP stage;

        Resumption of village layout plans preparation (R1)

(e)        the preparation of new village layout plans for villages covered by existing OZPs will depend on a number of factors such as implementation prospect of the village layout plans, manpower and priority of work within Planning Department (PlanD).  For the new DPA Plans which has just been completed such as this DPA Plan, OZPs with specific land use zonings should be prepared before layout plans can be contemplated.  As the boundary of the “V” zone will be further reviewed and defined at the preparation of OZP stage, the need for preparation of new village layout plans for the “V” zone to be covered by the OZP will then be reviewed as appropriate;


Preparation of statutory plans for other areas (R1)

(f)        it has been the Government’s long-term target to prepare statutory plans for all areas of Hong Kong except areas covered / to be covered by Country Park (CP).  Such task will be undertaken having regard to development pressure, priorities and resource availability; and

        Suspend the processing of Small House applications (R1)

(g)        processing of land grant applications under the Small House policy is outside the purview of the TPB.

        The TPB also agreed to advise the representations that:

(a)        the issue of “Destroy First, Build Later” had been thoroughly discussed by the TPB on 24.6.2011.  The TPB is determined to conserve the rural and natural environment and will not tolerate any deliberate action to destroy the rural and natural environment in the hope that the TPB would give sympathetic consideration to subsequent development on the site concerned.  Since then, the TPB has adopted a practice to defer consideration of a planning application which may involve an unauthorised development (UD) so as to allow time for Planning Department (PlanD) to carry out full investigation into whether there is UD on the site; (R1, R2, R4, R7, R9, R75, R80 and R83) and

(b)        the DPA Plan is prepared to empower the Planning Authority to undertake enforcement action against any UD and undesirable change of use in the Area.  Should UD be identified in the future, enforcement action will be instigated under the Town Planning Ordinance. (R1, R2, R4, R7, R9, R75, R80 and R83)

        A copy of the relevant extract of minutes of the TPB meeting held on 28.9.2012 is enclosed herewith for your reference.

        In accordance with section 8 of the Town Planning Ordinance, the above Plan together with a schedule of the representation(s) and comment(s), if any, will be submitted to the Chief Executive in Council for a decision.

        If you wish to seek further clarification/information on matters relating to the above decision, please contact Mr. Tim Fung of Sai Kung & Islands District Planning Office at 2158 6157.

Yours faithfully,



for Secretary, Town Planning Board