Henderson Land loses permission to develop Nam Sang Wai

nam sang waiNam Sang Wai, in Deep Bay wetland, has become another battleground between conservation and development plans. Henderson Land had aimed to build luxury housing, golf course etc; there were counter arguments, but importantly, too, Henderson has dithered over development. Delay led to Henderson losing permission to develop area, granted in 1994.

This just in from Lands Department:

Dear Sir/ Madam:

Thank you for your email cconcerning the captioned subject.   

The subject development relates to a planning application submitted to the Town Planning Board (the Board) in 1992 for golf course and residential development at Nam Sang Wai, and a nature reserve at Lut Chau (Planning Application No. A/DPA/YL-NSW/12).  The application was rejected by the Rural and New Town Planning Committee (RNTPC) of the Board and the Board in 1992 and 1993 respectively.  It was subsequently allowed with conditions by the Town Planning Appeal Board (TPAB) in 1994, and the TPAB’s decision was upheld by the Privy Council in 1996.  There were a total of 27 conditions attached to the planning permission, including but not limited to the submission of environmental assessment reports and habitat creation/management plan.  The planning permission was valid until 18.12.2010.

On 29.10.2010, the applicant submitted an application for further extension of time for commencement for 3 years until 18.12.2013 (No. A/DPA/YL-NSW/12-2).  On 10.12.2010, the RNTPC considered all relevant planning considerations and decided to reject the application for extension of time.  The applicant can apply for a review of the decision within 21 days from the date of formal notification of the decision issued by the Board's Secretariat.

Since the applicant could not commence the subject development during the planning permission period, the planning permission ceased to have effect after 18.12.2010.

Thank you for your comments.

Regards,
Ms. M F LIU
(for District Planning Officer/ Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, Planning Department)

先生 / 女士:
 

你就上述標題所提交的電郵已經收悉。

申請人於1992年向城市規劃委員會(城規會)提交規劃申請(編號A/DPA/YL-NSW/12),於南生圍地盤進行住宅及高爾夫球場發展,並於甩洲地盤建立自然保護區。該申請於1992年及1993年分別被城規會轄下鄉郊及新市鎮規劃小組委員會和城規會否決。及後該申請於1994年獲城市規劃上訴委員會在有條件情況下准許,並獲樞密院於1996年確認。已批的規劃許可共有27項附帶條件,包括但不限於提交環境評估報告及生態棲息地創造/管理計劃等。有關規劃許可的有效期直至2010年12月18日。

申請人於2010年10月29日根據«城市規劃條例»第16A(2)條提出申請再延長展開有關發展的期限三年至2013年12月18日(編號 A/DPA/YL-NSW/12-2),在考慮所有相關規劃因素後,鄉郊及新市鎮規劃小組委員會於2010年12月10日拒絕該延期申請。申請人有權於城規會秘書處正式通知有關決定的發信日期起計21天內,提出覆核申請。

由於申請人在規劃許可有效期內未能開展有關發展,有關規劃許可已於本年12月18日後停止生效。

謝謝你的意見。

規劃署屯門及元朗規劃專員
(廖美芳女士代行)

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Martin Williams's picture

Developer still aiming to build build build at Nam Sang Wai. Excellent letter in yesterday's Sunday Morning Post:

Wetland is no place for apartments

On the evening of Saturday, November 3, along with hundreds of other Hong Kong residents, I enjoyed a magnificent sunset from Nam Sang Wai in the New Territories.

Surrounded by cyclists, bird-watchers, model plane enthusiasts, tourists, bush walkers, and joined by flocks of endangered migratory birds, we watched as the sun slowly disappeared behind the hills to the west.

Rudely intruding upon this magnificent scene was the offensive cynicism of the sign for development application A/YL-NSW/218. Application A/YL-NSW/218 proposes a "comprehensive development with wetland enhancement (including house, flat, wetland enhancement area, nature reserve, visitors' centre, social welfare facility, shop and services) as well as filling of land, excavation of land and pond filling".

Previous versions of this application - first lodged in 1994 - included an 18-hole golf course, also in the name of wetland enhancement.

How can our government credibly allow this charade to continue?

Nam Sang Wai is one of the last remaining freely accessible wetland areas in Hong Kong. Let's clearly and simply call this application what it is: property development.

You don't enhance a wetland with apartments and homes. You don't address the "degrading (of the area at present) due to lack of management" with shops and services. You don't ensure protection of the "baseline ecological value of the site (which) has been clearly identified", with a social welfare facility and a new bridge to Yuen Long town.

You protect this all too rare resources by, first, recognising the inherent - and I believe offensive - conflict in the current practice of public-private partnerships where the "public" is any asset of environmental significance and the "private" is a property developer, and, second, through our wealthy government taking sole responsibility for protecting our diminishing natural heritage. We should not be forced to entrust stewardship of our environment to the vigilance of individual citizens and action groups.

This is an instance where the government should exercise eminent domain now, and provide the protection that this site needs, as is, ironically, so persuasively set forth in the text of the development application itself.

Matthew McGrath, Yuen Long