Group questions sustainability of Lantau plan
A concern group has cast doubt on the sustainability and environmental protection offered by the government’s development plan for Lantau.
The Development Secretary Eric Ma outlined details of the plan on Saturday. The Sustainable Lantau Blueprint is part of the government’s development plan for Hong Kong beyond 2030.
It involves large-scale housing and economic developments – mostly on the northern part of the island. They are the Tung Chung New Town Extension Siu Ho Wan Development, a commercial and employment platform near the airport, and the controversial East Lantau Metropolis, which will come with a business district.
The government expects the projects could be home for 700,000 to 1 million people and provide 470,000 jobs. Ma said rural areas in the south would be mostly preserved. There will be four marine parks and rural conservation projects in Tai O, Pui O and Shui Hau. About HK$30 million have so far been earmarked to support nature conservation projects and work against illegal dumping.
However Paul Zimmerman from Designing Hong Kong is unconvinced that the blueprint will make Lantau sustainable. The district councillor is among concern group members who’ve raised questions over the East Lantau Metropolis.
He also says the conservation proposals are not strong enough for the major development. He said laws needed to be changed so that authorities can properly enforce them, and also questioned whether dumping of waste would really be prevented.