[Hong Kong] 貝澳,明天的錦田? Will Pui O become Kam Tin?

it's true that the only way to stop illegal dumping is by filing a complaint to PlanD.  under Town Planning Ord., regardless of whether a piece of land is private or not, as long as there's dumping, it's a sort of 'development'.

the subject area is zoned 'coastal protection area' under the outline zoning plan (OZP) and such dumping clearly contravenes the Ord.  PlanD can always compare current land status with past aerial photos to ascertain if there's 'unauthorized development'.

unauthorized development is a serious offence and subject to heavy fine.  this is not the case of unauthorized container storage in the NT where being fined is just part of the expenditure.  if the government does take action, the owners of these abandoned farmlands will definitely take action to have them reinstated.

i think we can write to PlanD about this and if no action is taken shortly, we can then write to the office of Ombudsman.

just been to Kam Tin and then Pui O last weekend and it's definitely a hell to paradise experience.  wouldn't want to see it spoiled in the same way.


just learnt from that PlanD has given a ridiculous though accountable reply that the area had not been designated a 'development permission area' (DPA) before the gazette of the current outline zoning plan back in 2005.

having carefully studied the Town Planning Ord., it is indeed very stupid that the ordinance only defines development deviating from DPA an offence but not those deviating from OZP.  this is really stupid but this is how it's written.

i'm no lawyer but i would very much like to help.  from my knowledge, there are several ordinances involved in illegal dumping.  firstly, as suggested by a member of the forum, the Waste Disposal Ord. (Cap. 354) that dumping of construction waste (as in the case of Pui O), without a license is an offence.  not only that the one who dumps commits an offence but also the landowner who permits the dumping.

the other ordinance is the environmental impact assessment ordinance (Cap. 399) that an environmental permit is required for all works, including earthworks in special area / conservation area.  the subject area is a coastal protection area (CPA) and therefore i believe the EIA ordinance applies.

Environmental Protection Department is the department administering and enforcing both ordinances and therefore they should be the guys we should be ringing.


apart from chasing after the EPD guys, i think this case rings the alarm that there's indeed a loop hole in the legislation in its capability to protect the environment.

the town planning ordinance only caters for areas previously designated DPA (as suggested by the PlanD officer).  so it's under the purview of other legislation to protect a certain area against certain environmentally unfriendly uses.

just one example, what if some landowners want to convert his abandoned farmland, within an area zoned 'green belt', which is of great ecological value, into a sort of bbq centre.  if there's nothing in the lease as to what is so called 'tree preservation' clause, there's nothing the government can do if the owner wants to fell all the trees in it.  and if he likes, he can remove all the undergrowth and replace it with asphalt without committing any offence under any legistation.

i do think we should follow up with the PlanD guys to clarify a point:
is it true that, under the current town planning ordinance, that even though a development may deviate from an OZP, it is not an offence under town planning ordinance, as long as the area concerned falls within an area not ever designated as a DPA?

it's ridiculous if you look at the planning intention of the Pui O CPA:
'this zone is intended to consrve, protect and retain the natural coastlines and the sensitive coastal natural environment, including....or area of ....ecological value, with a minimum of built development.....there is a general presumption against development in this zone.....'

if the current town planning legislation, with its best planning intention cannot actually enforce its implementation but resorting to other legislation and chance, then maybe it's time to review it and turn to the legislators.

btw, here're some of the links that may be of interest: -
notes on the south lantau OZP
the EIA ordinance, attention drawn to section 9, 26 and schedule 2-Q
waste disposal ordinance, attention drawn to section 16

i'd definitely like to help.  but i thought it's best to write to the authorities in a consolidated approach.  if there's anything that i could help, research or whatever, please let me know.



from what i've learned from, seems like there's little or nothing the PlanD and the EPD could do.  btw,  have the HKBWS, as a concern group, written, or prepared to write to the Government on the dumpings?