Protect Country Park Enclaves

Hong Kong Outdoors is among signatories of this open letter, prepared by Designing Hong Kong:

Honorable Chief Executive,

In your 2010-11 Policy Address you announced that prompt action would be taken to include ‘enclaves’ into country parks, or to determine their proper uses through statutory planning. We congratulate you on this decision which will benefit Hong Kong for many generations, and hope you will reconfirm this commitment in the 2011-2012 Policy Address.

As we celebrate the first anniversary of the publication of the list of 77 enclaves, DPA Plans have been prepared for 7 enclaves not already covered by statutory plans. In the meantime, development pressure including applications for land grants for New Territories Exempted Houses continues to increase. The longer it takes to implement the ‘enclave policy’, the higher the cost to society.

We urge you to accelerate the process of protecting all 77 enclaves through statutory planning or by including the enclaves into country parks before 10 August 2012, the second anniversary of the publication of the list of enclaves. We also petition you to immediately hold all processing of land grant applications for New Territories Exempted Houses in these enclaves.


Yours sincerely,

Eva Tam

 eva [at ]designinghongkong.com

致行政長官﹕

 
公開信: 郊野公園「不包括土地」

 政府在2010-11年度的施政報告當中宣佈,將會採取迅速行動把郊野公園的「不包括土地」納入郊野公園範圍,或通過法定規劃程序確立合適用途 ( 下稱「政策」)。香港的後續能受益於此,我們為此感到非常鼓舞,並希望政府能在2011-2012年度的施政報告重申上述的承諾。

然而,在發表77塊「不包括土地」列表的一週年後,只有7個地方被納入發展審批地區圖則。與此同時,土地面臨的發展壓力:包括申請批地作新界豁免管制屋宇的數目正不斷增加。落實政策所需的時間愈長,社會所付的成本亦隨之提高。

故此,我們建議政府加快保護「不包括土地」的進程,並在該政策的兩週年紀念前 -即2012年8月10日,把表內其餘的地方納入郊野公園範圍,或通過法定規劃程序確立合適用途。我們亦懇請有關當局可以立即暫緩處理「不包括土地」內的新界豁免管制屋宇的批地申請。
 
此致

譚家欣



for and on behalf of

 
Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong (aghk [at] rocks.org.hk)

Designing Hong Kong Limited (info [at] designinghongkong.com)

Friends of Tai Long Wan (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Tailongwan/136923842995758?v=info)

Friends of Sai Kung (info [at] friendsofsaikung.org)

Friends of the Earth (HK) (foehk [at] foe.org.hk)

Green Lantau Association (greenlantau [at] yahoo.com)

Green Power (info [at] greenpower.org.hk)

Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (hkbws [at] hkbws.org.hk)

Hong Kong Outdoors (http://www.hkoutdoors.com/)

hkwildlife.net (webmaster [at] hkwildlife.net)

The Conservancy Association (cahk [at] cahk.org.hk)

Transition South Lantau (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=60805796138&v=info)      

WWF (HK) (swwf [at] wwf.org.hk)

 
Copy to:

Chairman and Members, Legislative Council


 

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Martin Williams's picture

Reply from Planning Bureau re country park enclaves issue:

Dear Sir /Madam,

              Thank you for your e-mail to the Secretary for Development and other government departments conveying objection to the processing and approval of land grants and planning applications in Country Park enclaves prior to the preparation of Outline Zoning Plans, with reference to three planning applications (i.e. Planning Applications No. A/DPA/NE-TKP/3, A/DPA/NE-TKP/4 and A/DPA/NE-TKP/5) for Small House development in To Kwa Peng.

        As announced by the Chief Executive in the 2010-11 Policy Address, the recent Tai Long Sai Wan incident has highlighted the need to take prompt action to regulate land use in the vicinity of country parks to forestall human damage.

        At present, amongst the 54 enclaves without statutory plans under the Town Planning Ordinance, 17 enclaves, namely Sai Wan, Pak Lap, Hoi Ha, So Lo Pun, To Kwa Peng, Pak Tam Au, Tin Fu Tsai, Lai Chi Wo, Siu Tan, Sam A Tsuen, Ko Lau Wan, Mau Ping, Tung A, Pak A, Ma Shi Chau, Ngou Kwo Tin and Luk Wu / Keung Shan have been designated as Development Permission Areas (DPAs) and are covered by 12 DPA plans.  The remaining enclaves will either be included into Country Parks, or have their proper uses determined through statutory planning.

        Under the prevailing mechanism, for sites not covered by any statutory town plans, Lands Department would approve an application for a Small House Grant provided that the eligibility of the applicant as an indigenous villager has been ascertained and the application site is considered suitable for Small House development under the prevailing Small House Policy and relevant legislations.   In processing an application, LandsD would post notices formally on the Small House site concerned, Notice Boards in the village(s), the relevant Rural Committee office and the relevant District Lands Office for 14 days, to see whether there are valid local objections to the application.  Only valid objections received within the notice period will be considered by LandsD, regardless of whether they are lodged by indigenous villagers or not. Other relevant Government departments will also be consulted as appropriate.

        As regards areas covered by new DPA plans, the development of Small Houses within the DPA plan area shall observe the provision of the relevant DPA plan in addition to undergoing the procedures described above.  For cases requiring planning permission, Lands Department will only proceed with the application subject to planning approval.  As a matter of principle, the Government strives to strike a balance between the rights for private developments and nature conservation.

               The three planning applications you mentioned have been  processed in accordance with the Town Planning Ordinance and relevant guidelines.  Your views together with other public comments on the above-mentioned applications have been noted and referred to the Town Planning Board (TPB) secretariat.  Please be informed that consideration of Applications No. A/DPA/TKP/3 and A/DPA/TKP/5 had been deferred subsequent to the RNTPC’s meeting on 17 June 2011 while Application No. A/DPA/TKP/4 for 16 Small Houses was rejected by the RNTPC on 22 July 2011.  You may rest assured that your views have been/will be duly considered by the TPB.


Planning Team
Development Bureau
October 2011