What games are being played? The Government invited a developer to study the Tai Lam Country Park for development, but there are sites readily available next to it – OUTSIDE the country park.
Over 100 hectares of development sites were earmarked by the Planning Department in 2014 in their land use review of Kam Tin South (錦田南) and Pat Heung (八鄉). Enough land for at least 33,000 residential units was identified on top of and in the vicinity of the Kam Sheung Road Station and the Pat Heung Maintenance Centre of the MTR. All these are outside the country parks. All that is missing is a developer to start the work. So what is stopping government and the MTR from speeding up development of the sites already identified?
Last weekend many of us hiked to a look-out point in Tai Lam Country Park. From there you can see all these different sites clearly. You can see the nature, the already completed new towns, the available land and the rail depot and station ready for development. You can also see a lot of land covered with chaotically scattered sub-standard land uses, poorly constructed roads and random structures.
Once we have completed developing the sites found by the Planning Department, we can develop these brownfields (棕地) nearby. And once those have been done, we can look at other land between Route 3 and the MTR lines.
Yes, green groups (環保團體) have clear ideas about development. Green activists suffer the same problems as everyone else do. Competing with new immigrants for public housing. And competing with speculators in saving up for their own home. But they don’t support development inside country parks. They want a priority for development of other land first (先發展其他土地).
So we repeat the question – Why do we invite developers for taking country parks when there are development sites ready to go nearby? What games are being played here? (為何偏偏要發展郊野公園？)
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