Last week, HKBWS and our Honorary Chairman, Mr. Lam Chiu-ying, made representations to the Town Planning Board voicing our concerns on the Outline Zoning Plans for Hoi Ha, Pak Lap and So Lo Pun.
Here’s a brief description of what was presented to the Board:
“In the 2010-11 Policy Address the Chief Executive (CE) pointed out the Tai Long Sai Wan incident and promised to give legislative protection to enclaves that are not covered by Outline Zoning Plans. These enclaves would be either be incorporated into its surrounding Country Parks on be covered by Outline Zoning Plans.
In a paper by the Legislative Council, the Government determined the criteria to decide whether to include an enclave into Country Parks or by Outline Zoning Plans to be based on: remoteness, development threat, conservation value, landscape value, geographical location, scale of existing residents, etc.
The CE is the highest level of policy making and all Government departments must make decisions based on the CE’s orders. Since then, there has not been a change to this policy, therefore, not only is it still effective, this is something that the Town Planning Board must follow.
During the planning process, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department only recorded one bird species at Hoi Ha, whilst the HKBWS has recorded over 100 bird species there. AFCD’s results are far from professional and thus the ecological assessments does not reflect on the conditions of Hoi Ha. The Town Planning Board must not make decisions based on wrong information. Such actions could potentially lead to a judicial review in the future.
The Town Planning Board should be reminded on the Government’s policy that what happens in the enclaves should not impact the overall function of the Country Park. The proposed Village Type Development zonings for these three Outline Zoning Plans would impact the overall function and landscape value of the Country Parks.” Author: Paux Time: 17/05/2014 00:11
Very puzzled under what conditions would AFCD record that there was only one bird species at Hoi Ha during their observation! Author: subbuteo Time: 17/05/2014 07:42
I would be disappointed if I had less than 20 species when I walk my dog each morning, typically no more than thirty minutes. If I had headphones on and kept my eyes on the ground I think I'd still beat one species. At minimum I would trip over a tree sparrow and a spotted dove. Even at night I typically get more than one species. My Yung Shue O records now stand at 136 species since December 2013. Yung Shue O also lies within Sai Kung West CP and Hoi Ha is most likely better in terms of habitat.
It would be interesting to know what the one species was!
Dylan Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 21/05/2014 18:35
The species recorded by AFCD was White-bellied Sea Eagle. Additionally, during the meeting AFCD mentioned that no specific bird survey was done at Hoi Ha for the purpose of the Outline Zoning Plan, the record of the White-bellied Ses Eagle was an incidental record when they were conducting surveys in the nearby area. Author: HKBWS Chuan Time: 5/06/2014 10:06
Gist of the decision by Town Planning Board regarding the Draft Outline Zoning Plans for Hoi Ha, Pak Lap and So Lo Pun was posted last night:
Demand for more houses: Not upheld.
Public demand for conservation: Partially upheld.
This is good news! Now we need to wait for the full minutes to find out the exact details of the Town Planning Board's decisions.