Build a beach at Lung Mei?

Apparently, the government's confidence in its ability to manage and standardise everything now extends to re-creating nature itself.

This from the Government newswire:

Bathing beach set for Lung Mei

A bathing beach is due to be built at Lung Mei in Tai Po to serve the eastern New Territories, the Development Bureau says. Works will begin early 2009 for completion by early 2011. About 56,360 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed at Lung Mei will be affected.

A government notice is gazetted today and posted near the site, and the plan can be seen at the Lands Department Survey & Mapping Office in North Point and at the Tai Po District Office. Anyone who has an interest, right or easement in or over the concerned foreshore and sea-bed may submit an objection to the Director of Lands by April 6.

They slipped this announcement out on the first day of Chinese New Year, presumably hoping to bury it. What nightmare are the bureaucrats going to create here?

Share this

Crap plan, small in the scheme of things, but to me another sign that too many of our "leaders" [worldwide] are bent on driving us to an environmental hell
Can assume there will be a fair bit of concrete, too; HK Govt won't be happy otherwise.

The "temporary reclamation" areas in the harbour seem another mad scheme

I live in the area, and know it well.
This particular area has already beeen ruined by human activity and a previous attempt at beach making. As long as they keep their greasy hands off the nearby mangroves (which they are - at least in this plan) they are welcome to do what they want with this small bay. At least ecologically wise.
Of more importance is the oversight of monies given for what is in effect a small group of shopholders and villagers. Said peoples are determinedly scratching a tourist buck out of what should be no more than a stop off point for the Plovercove hinterland. I understand that the shops and restaurants, even the marina's and watersports centres are popular but I don't see why the Government should pay for the beach.
If these businesses believe that people will flock to the rocky mud and boat oil for a swim, well that's their opinion. But I don't see why we need to pay for it.
Should the Government be of the opinion that this area needs beautification, well then, good on them. But again it's a bit tiresome always having Government money given to local businesses, over the interests of Hong Kong as a whole.
But then again it's only 100m of beach in an already dirty area, so let them play amongst themselves.

This project sounds like a complete white elephant. Definitely agree that this is a waste of taxpayers money, the cost/benefit looks very questionable. The water quality here is very poor and I certainly won't be running over to jump in. Appears this project is supported by local politicians and village heads both for political grounds and to improve business and property values.

From recent reports the Environmental Impact Analysis done was highly questionable and the development is close to sensitive ecologically important areas, that will be impacted. Also I don't agree that just because this particular bay looks 'ruined' that is it not still worth restoring and protecting. Recent surveys by HK Wildlife, found >100 species by simply wading in the shallows.

I don't think that this should go through. Objections can still be raised. Have a look at the following.

[Edited: sadly, govt link "dead" by 2012]

Martin Williams's picture

Latest info, from hkwildlfie.net:

We are now trying to persuade the new government and the Legco candidates to accept our new proposal that the development of artificial beach at Lung Mei should change to building a coastal swimming pool while keeping the Lung Mei natural coastline and intertidal zone intact as usual. This is the all win situation, swimming pool can fulfill the demand of lack of swimming facilities at Tai Po and at the same time can attract people visiting the Tai Mei Tuk areas for recreation. The Lung Mei wildlife will not be destroyed as there is no reclamation and the potential influence to the Ting Kok SSSI will be eliminated. In order to let them know more about the Lung Mei natural attraction and the proposal coastal swimming pool, we will have a guided-tour on 2 Sept. 2012 afternoon, allowing the government officials and the Legco candidates to re-think about the true sustainable development is.

Thanks Alan [Leung, of WWF HK] for letting us know there is an example from Macau about the coastal swimming pool. You may learn more by visiting the following links:
http://www.21pw.com/zhuwanhaitan/
http://www.iacm.gov.mo/facility/showFacilityDetail.aspx?id=8ee4967b-27bf...

邀請各環團聯署

支持保留龍尾天然泥灘/興建首個海岸泳池

 
首先多謝一直支持救救龍尾行動的各團體,雖然大家都清楚知道龍尾的項目已通過環評,經城規批准,並且在剛過的立法年度被草草地通過撥款,人工泳灘的工程亦已定於十一月份正式展開。

但我們深信新一屆政府梁振英先生是會聽取民意,更是對環境和可持續發展有理想、有承擔的政府,同樣,立法會新界東候選人亦會是非常關心保育,珍惜新界東得天獨厚的自然美景,故此,我們認為大家都是有責任重新審視龍尾人工沙灘﹣一個破壞自然生態、一個不合適游泳的設施、一個背著世界主流而走的工程,把這個工程叫停,甚至更進取地,來一個急轉彎。

龍尾天然泥灘的生態價值由此至終都是不容否定的,而這個地方是香港少數能輕易到達,接觸海洋生物的地點,這樣珍貴而難得的龍尾,我們希望各環團能支持保留龍尾的天然面貌,由現時的海岸線一直至潮下帶的水域。

另外,為了應付區內對游泳設施不足的要求,我們建議在龍尾灘後的相連陸地即現時建議興建泳灘設施及停車場的位置,興建香港首個半開放式的海岸泳池,這既能滿足游泳的需求,更能成為獨特的旅遊設施,吸引更多的遊客到龍尾和大美督一帶消閒,成為全港可持續發展的典範。

 
為了令大家能親身接觸龍尾,更深入了解那裡多彩多姿的海洋生態,香港自然生態論壇聯同各個環保團體,為我們的政府官員以及立法會新界東候選人,進行一次龍尾生態導賞團:

 
詳情如下:

日期:九月二日(星期日)

時間:下午三至五點

地點:大埔大美督停車場集合

溫馨提示:

1.        請自備簡單乾糧及充足飲料。

2.        帶備雨晴用品及防曬防蚊用品等。

3.        很有可能需要涉水,避免穿著涼鞋或拖鞋,以防止被蠔殼割傷。

 
救救龍尾網頁:

http://www.hkwildlife.net/lungmei/

最新龍尾海岸教育中心專頁:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/龍尾海岸教育中心/323461217748457


 

Martin Williams's picture

Letter in S China Morning Post on 13 Nov:

Let common sense prevail in Lung Mei

Various newspapers (see links below) have published the powerful argument that due process needs to be respected for Lung Mei or many development projects would stall. The development of the artificial beach at Lung Mei, Tolo Harbour, has gone through statutory town planning, reclamation, and environmental impact procedures. The local district council was consulted often, ExCo decided to support and LegCo approved the funding of HK$200 million.
 
It appears that not everyone is aware that the Secretary for the Environment and the Director of Environmental Protection have received substantive information recently from members of the ‘Save Lung Mei’ alliance including Designing Hong Kong identifying endangered species and alternatives sites which have not been reviewed during the process. This information cannot be disposed by simply saying that it is government policy that the beach should be built. The members have requested for a review of the Environmental Permit for the beach under section 14 of the EIA Ordinance. The Secretary and the Director must now decide whether material information about the project's impacts was concealed, and whether there is cause to suspend, vary or cancel the permit.
 
We appreciate concern over due process and mounting frustrations over the stop-starts of projects and policies. We need to find out how it is possible that despite a rigorous due process we are to develop an artificial beach on top of ecologically valuable mud flats along the Ting Kok coast. There are alternative locations along the nearby sandy coastline of To Tau Wan and Wu Kai Sha where bathing beaches could be gazetted for enjoyment by residents of the East New Territories. And to attract the visitors the land owners in Lung Mei are after, board walks and an eco centre can be built to enable the enjoyment of the local ecology.
 
How come that Hong Kong’s institutions involved in the process failed as gatekeepers? For example, the Advisory Council of the Environment (ACE) which accepted the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 2008? The artificial beach proposal was controversial. Unusually for ACE, it went to the vote and was deadlocked until the Chairman cast his tie-breaking vote in favour despite the grave misgivings. The precautionary principal should have prevailed. Has ACE been emasculated with the appointment of persons with little connection or interest in nature conservation? Is our EIA process a development tool, rather than a sustainable planning and conservation tool? Does the process guarantee insufficient common sense for the community and decision makers to rely on it?
 
Paul Zimmerman
Designing Hong Kong - CEO
www.designinghongkong.com
 
Links:
SCMP: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1077293/environmentalists-dec...
China Daily: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hkedition/2012-11/06/content_15877574.htm
Wenweipo: http://paper.wenweipo.com/2012/11/05/WW1211050002.htm[/quote]

I've done a piece appearing in Sunday Morning Post, on Lung Mei "battle" as the ordinary becomes extraordinary - part of casual trashing of our world
Save Lung Mei Save Ourselves