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1884 SIGNATURES OBTAINED, THIS CAMPAIGN ENDED ON December 24, 2014
Hoi Ha is one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful seaside villages, surrounded by Country Park hillside and fronted by Hoi Ha Marine Park, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with 64 species of coral. The area is rich in species of Conservation Interest not just in the sea but also on land, along the Hoi Ha stream, in the woodland, on the abandoned agricultural land and in the marshes.
Hoi Ha has no public sewage system and so all of the houses will need septic tanks, effluent from which will percolate through the soil into the Hoi Ha Stream and into the Marine Park.
Hopes have been dashed that the Town Planning Board would zone this environmentally-sensitive area in order to give priority to the landscape and to the environment. Instead, the TPB has come out on the side of development with proposals to triple the size of the village in a large V-zone with room for up to 100 houses and an adjacent zone of Green Belt, which is already being considered as a reservoir of future building land. These areas, which together comprise about 50% of the Development Permission Area, are on a mixture of mature woodland and on farmland which was abandoned more than 40 years ago and has reverted to shrubland habitat.
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To Permanent Secretary for Development and Secretary for Development,
With reference to the Draft of the Outline Zoning Plan of Hoi Ha which is presently being considered by the Town Planning Board, the undersigned PETITION the Hong Kong Government’s Town Planning Board:
- To protect properly this area of outstanding natural beauty and high ecological value by zoning for conservation and not for development.
- To consider their responsibilities under the Convention on Biodiversity, in particular Article 8 (e), which states that the Government has a responsibility to “Promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering protection of these areas.”
- To be mindful of the Law in their zoning, respect the 100 metre set-back distance between septic tanks and Hoi Ha Wan Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and impose a 30 metre set-back distance between septic tanks and streams. These measures are designed to prevent any development that would be in breach of the Law and/or cause pollution to Hoi Ha Wan.
- To support the recommendations submitted to the Board by Non-Governmental Organisations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) and Friends of Hoi Ha (FOHH) which detail the proper protection of the flora, fauna, landscape and hydrology of this area.
- To re-designate the proposed Green Belt Area as Conservation Area.
- To re-designate the proposed westward extension of the V-zone as Conservation Area.
- To utilise an up-to-date map for planning purposes, that accurately shows the coastal erosion and the current boundaries of the beaches.
- To increase the depth of the entire proposed Coastal Protection Area to a minimum buffer zone of 30 metres starting at the actual boundary of the Marine Park, not at an incorrect point on an inaccurate map.
- To include the old walled village, a Site of Archaeological Interest, in the Coastal Protection Area, which would protect it from being bulldozed and redeveloped, and would allow it to be restored in the original style on the original footprint.
- To move the Column 1 – “Always Allowed” – status of Agricultural Use in the definitions of Conservation Area and Coastal Protection Area into Column 2 – requiring the authorisation of the Town Planning Board. This is to prevent Agricultural activities being used as pretence to cover the trashing of areas prior to re-development.
- To recommend to the Country and Marine Parks Authority that all of the Development Permission Area be subsumed into the Country and Marine Parks.
- To recommend that all future Small House Applications be relocated to land outside the Hoi Ha enclave and outside Sai Kung Country Park, well away from environmentally sensitive areas of high landscape value.
This petition was started by Nicola Newbery on October 3, 2013, with an end date of December 24, 2014.
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