The Deadline is 27 November 2013. HKBWS is concerned about the impacts of the large village zone in these three plans. In the 2010 Policy Address, the Government promised to protect the natural landscape of these enclaves, but these Draft OZPs fail to do so. We believe that these enclaves should be incorporated into their surrounding country parks.
There have been 52 bird species recorded at Pak Lap so far including a number of raptors (White-bellied Sea Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Eastern Buzzard and Common Kestrel).
At Hoi Ha, 105 bird species have been recorded and the natural stream at Hoi Ha is an important foraging place for Brown Fish Owl. Under the Draft OZP, the stream would suffer from water pollution impacts.
The last records of Crested Kingfisher were seen at So Lo Pun back in 2009. The Ecologically Important Stream there provides suitable habitat for this species which is usually found along large stream with wooded banks. The large V zone of the Draft OZP would result in potential water pollution impacts to this important stream.
The Society has drafted our response to the Draft Pak Lap OZP and will continue to finalize the other two as the week progresses.
Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 20/11/2013 16:25 Subject: 白腊 Pak Lap
白腊 Pak Lap
The following are the Society's comments on the Draft Pak Lap OZP:
The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) would like to raise our concerns on the Draft Pak Lap Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) and propose the incorporation of Pak Lap into the Sai Kung East Country Park. In the 2010 Policy Address, Donald Tsang promised to include Country Park enclaves into Country Parks (CPs) or determine their proper uses through statutory planning in order to meet conservation and social development needs . However, the Draft Pak Lap OZP does not provide sufficient protection to the natural environment of Pak Lap and we would like bring your attention to the following concerns:
1. Concerns on the Village Zone
1.1 The size of the Village (V) zone was decided based on the ten-year projection of small houses (79 more houses) at Pak Lap. Given the condition of Pak Lap, being that there is no vehicular road access and access to the nearest road requires a 400 meter hike to Sai Kung Man Yee Road, the draft OZP has failed to take into consideration the associated road access that is necessary to allow villagers to inhabit Pak Lap conveniently, and this puts the surrounding areas of the CP at risk to illegal infrastructure development. Already there are evidence of illegal vegetation clearance and provision of roads from Sai Kung Man Yee Road to Pak Lap.
1.2 The individuals of Water Fern Ceratopteris thalictroides as presented in the draft OZP were found in the marsh of the proposed V zone. Ceratopteris thalictroides is considered to be a “rare and precious plant” and due to its special habitat requirement, its area of distribution and population size are decreasing . The V zone would not provide any protection to the Water Fern. We urge that the marsh habitat of where the Water Fern is located to be zoned as Conservation Area (CA) so that adequate protection can be given to the marsh habitat and its associated plants, including the protection Water Fern. The size of V zone should be reduced significantly.
1.3 We are concerned about the deterioration of water quality at Pak Lap Wan as a result of the high number of small houses in the proposed V zone. Since the area is not equipped with public sewer, the sewage from these small houses will only be treated by on-site septic tanks and soakaway systems, the generated sewage will pollute the stream and Pak Lap Wan which is drains into. Pak Lap Wan is where high abundance of protected amphioxus species, Branchiostoma belcheri, has been recorded . This species is listed under class II protection in China and is the only benthic species of conservation importance in Hong Kong. Branchiostoma belcheri is sensitive to water pollution and important habitat requirements include oceanic water of low organic content. We are concerned that the organic content discharged in to Pak Lap Wan from the village would destroy this important habitat for B. belcheri.
2. Concerns on the Agriculture Zone
The proposed Agriculture (AGR) zone is located in an area of young plantation species and man-made pond. This area is hydrologically linked to the stream which drains into Pak Lap Wan. Surface runoff from farming activities would result in the increase of organic content in the stream and Pak Lap Wan. We believe this area should be zoned as Green Belt (GB) to prevent water quality issues and also because the GB zoning would create a suitable buffer area of appropriate size between the existing village houses and the proposed CA.
3. Pak Lap should be incorporated as part of the Sai Kung East Country Park
Pak Lap, and especially its secondary woodland, supports a diverse population of different fauna groups and is ecologically linked to the surrounding Sai Kung East Country Park. High diversity of butterflies (37 species) and birds (55 species) have been recorded at Pak Lap . This includes two uncommon butterfly species, Bush Hopper Ampittia dioscorides etura and Silver Streak Blue Iraota timoleon timolecon, and eleven bird species of conservation interest. Pak Lap not only supports woodland and generalist birds species, it also supports protected species of ardeids, waterbirds and raptors.
To prevent further illegal habitat destruction at Pak Lap, by including it into the CP, the Country Park Ordinance under the authority of the AFCD would provide the most effective legislative protection which the Town Planning Board of the OZP would otherwise have limited control over. Great considerations should be given to CP enclaves that are not easily accessible by people due to the lack of vehicular road access to become part of the CP boundary due to their low utilization. These enclaves, including Pak Lap, are subject to low levels of human disturbances and thus have high potential ecological value. The draft OZP allows opportunities for irreversible environmental damage arising from village house developments.
Thank you Sze for taking the time to do the translation into Chinese.
［香港觀鳥會（HKBWS）對白腊分區計劃大綱草圖（下稱「草圖」，Draft Pak Lap Outline Zoning Plan, OZP）表示關注，並建議將白腊納入西貢東郊野公園範圍。在2010年施政報告中，前特首曾蔭權曾承諾將「不包括的土地」（Country Park enclaves）納入郊野公園範圍或通過法定規劃以確保這些土地被適當使用，以滿足保育及社會發展所需。可是，本會發現草圖未能對白腊的自然環境提供足夠的保護，故本會欲提出以下建議：］
1. ［對「鄉村式發展」地帶（Village Zone）的關注］
1.1 ［草圖擬訂的「鄉村式發展」地帶，是以十年前在白腊的村屋數目作估算，範圍大小估計可容納超過79楝村屋。有鑒於白腊現行並沒有行車路可達，而離最近的道路亦需要步行至400米外的西貢萬宜路（Sai Kung Man Yee Road）。草圖並未有考慮到如容許超過79楝村屋的村民在白腊生活後，日後會為周邊的郊野公園地區帶來非法興建車路的潛在風險。而且有證據顯示，現已有人非法砍伐植物以擴展小路將白腊連接到西貢萬宜路。］
TVB Pearl video on Country Park enclaves (English only). This video summarized the issues regarding these enclaves, especially on So Lo Pun, Hoi Ha and Pak Lap. Most importantly, how did the government decide which enclaves would be covered under the Outline Zoning Plan and which ones would be incorporated into the Country Parks.