To Town Planning Board,
As a member of the Hong Kong public, I am deeply concerned about sustainable development in the Yuen Long district. I join in hereby calling upon the Town Planning Board to refuse development of a commercial outlet mall in Wing Kei Tsuen, Nam Sang Wai (Application No. A/YL-NSW/241). Nam Sang Wai has long been a crucial wetland providing habitats for numerous species of birds. The proposed development would bring irreversible damage to the precious natural environment, contributing to Hong Kong’s conversion into a lifeless city measured solely on the basis of its commercial value. Furthermore, the development plan is set to principally benefit large business groups and landowners while increasing the burden on the traffic network nearby, exacerbating the potential for unpredictable public security problems. We Hong Kong people cherish our few oases of natural beauty, havens for picnics and outdoor activities. Destruction of this priceless area of green to satisfy avarice is unbearable, particularly in a district with over 300,000 residents in need of relief from city pressures.
I oppose the development plan (Application no. A/YL-NSW/241), and have signed this petition to protect this uniquely valuable part of Hong Kong. WE OPPOSE THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR A COMMERCIAL OUTLET MALL IN NAM SANG WAI (Application no.: A/YL-NSW/241):
- The proposed development area lies in the Wetland Buffer Area, a location where the endangered species the Black-faced Spoonbill and other shorebirds feed. The development disrupts the habitat of the birds and brings negative impacts to the ecological environment generally.
- The approval of the development plan would encourage property developers to change land use. It involves converting fish ponds and agricultural land to commercial use. The government should exercise a policy of conserving agricultural land and fisheries, not destroying them.
- The development would not bring significant economic advantage to Yuen Long. Rather, the influx of parallel traders would heavily burden the surrounding traffic system. To approve the development plan would aggravate the already existing problem of activities of parallel traders and stores impacting upon the normal lives of Yuen Long residents.
- To protect the natural environment is a Corporate Social Responsibility. In balancing profit-making and the public interest, the bond between people and their natural environment must be found to outweigh short-term profit for commercial interests.
- The development intention deviates from the Comprehensive Development Plan to include the Wetland Restoration Area. The proposal is predominated by its commercial purpose; the proposed Commercial Fish Pond does not serve the aim of restoring the wetland.
- Sun Hung Kai Properties controls a large number of lots in Nam Sang Wai. By splitting them into multiple development plans, it is attempting to de-emphasise the overall potential impact, so that Town Planning Board will ignore the cumulative impact. Though approval would be for one development plan for a shopping mall and other affiliated facilities, it would open up the possibility of future developments for residential use. (Note: Planning application no.: A/YL-NSW/233 and Y/YL-NSW/3, both possessed by SHK Properties, have been approved by TPB)
- Approval of the plan would open the floodgates to applications by other developers, resulting in the destruction of the entire Wetland Buffer Area, lowering the ecological value of the Wetland Conservation Area and the remaining fish ponds.
We need your support to protect Nam Sang Wai, to oppose the development plan and, most importantly, to win back natural land that belongs to all Hong Kongers!