Recently, a developer submitted a planning application for 70 Tai Hang Road to the Town Planning Board. They proposed to build a private access road and a podium within 800 square metres of government land which will create negative impact in the green and serene Tai Hang community if approved. The developer already owns 1,946 square metres in the area. Still, they are asking for an extra 800 square metres of government green belt land, meaning cutting down trees, a lot of trees! Parking spaces are not mentioned in the application this time, but the developer’s previous application claimed to provide 51 parking spaces that could bring additional burden to existing traffic in the area.
Below are the reasons why we object the application:
- The developer already fell more than 20 trees at 70 Tai Hang Road on 13th July 2017. Not only was it an illegal act, such action also placed Tai Hang residents in danger, as roads were blocked ilegally for developer’s selfish agenda. The Government should absolutely reject the developer – they are irresponsible, unreliable, untruthful, and should not be allowed to develop government land.
- The developer did not invesitagte all possible solutions, and failed to prove that the current proposal would be the only available option. There is no good reason for government to sacrifice public goods for private residential development.
- The planning application states that the access road is mainly used for vehicular access during construction works related to slope stabilisation and the development. However, it is aboslutely unncessary to build a permanent access road for temporary construction work. Moreover, in the slope stabilisation plan, the targetted factors of safety is way higher than the usual standard. The developer is obviously making up lies as cover-up story for residential development.
- The proposed use of government-owned green belt serves no public purpose. The developer already owns 1,946 square meters in its lot, yet they ask for another 752 square meters of government land for a private access road and a private garden. It is simply a voracious proposal to maximise development gain at the cost of the local living environment of thousands of residents: a large greenbelt will disappear while an excessive tall building will cast a shadow over surrounding developments and block sightlines.
- The planning application will set a bad precedent if it gets passed. Previously, some applicants were allowed to develop the greenbelt, but the land size of those cases were 1/10 of the the developer’s. Another example is located in the New Territories with austere surroudings – it is simply not comparable to Tai Hang.
- Tai Hang Road is not only narrow in terms of width, but also full of bends. With schools and residential buildings nearby, it has limited capacity for transport flow. Placing an extra access road in South Tai Hang (close to Jardine Hill) will only worsen the traffic congestion at Lai Tak Tsuen Road roudabout. Residents in the future will also suffer from such situation.
- Placing the entrance at South Tai Hang will increase the possibilities of traffic incidents. Large vehicles such as bus and truck often drive downhill at the bends of South Tai Hang in high speed. The plan will only grant drivers 60 metres of view that will not be good enough to ensure road safety.
- Despite previous criticisms from government departments, the developer insists on building an access road, which will create visual impacts on surroundings. Even though the design has been modified, the developer still failed to specify the details. They submitted neither Photomontages or visual impact assesment to demonstrate visual effects, and simply used ‘mass concrete wall’ as conclusion.
- It is apparent that the developer attempts to have their application passed with ambiguity. In order to conceal potential problems, they provided neither any concrete information of private car park, nor enviornment assessment report.