Date
23 August 2017
Development Secretary Paul Chan (inset) says it would not be easy to abort the Siu Ho Wan reclamation project, which is part of the mega plan to develop Lantau Island. Photos: HKEJ, Xinhua
Development Secretary Paul Chan (inset) says it would not be easy to abort the Siu Ho Wan reclamation project, which is part of the mega plan to develop Lantau Island. Photos: HKEJ, Xinhua

Govt may shrink Lantau reclamation to save dolphins

Plans to reclaim 100-150 hectares of land at Siu Ho Wan in northern Lantau Island may be scaled down to avoid harming Chinese white dolphins near the area, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday, citing officials of the Development Bureau. 

This emerged as Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po and Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) Wai Chi-shing reported on the progress of the mega plan to develop the island.

The government is undertaking a study on the impact of the reclamation project, and a report is due to be released by the end of the year.

The reclamation plan was first suggested in 2007 by then financial secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen who wanted to build a logistics park in the area, although it remained unacted upon.

Last year, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying identified five reclamation sites for development, including Siu Ho Wan, Sunny Bay, Ma Liu Shui, Lung Kwu Tan and Tsing Yi.

But environmental groups opposed the inclusion of Siu Ho Wan in the reclamation plan. Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Dolphin Conservation Society, said the government had earlier planned to establish a marine park near the Brothers Islands, which is only a hundred meters away from the Siu Ho Wan reclamation site, making it unfeasible to pursue both projects.

Chan, however, said it would not be easy to abort the reclamation project.

The government is also building an artificial island in eastern Lantau as part of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project. 

Current development models show that the island will be divided into six or seven areas, with up to 4.31 million square feet of gross floor area dedicated to commercial use.

The development will provide employment opportunities for Tung Chung residents, Chan said.

Meanwhile, the Lantau Development Advisory Committee will meet to discuss 91 development proposals to develop Lantau Island. Suggestions include safari parks and temple tours.

Four groups will look into the feasibility of the proposals and then report to the committee in November, the report said.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

VW/AC/CG

Green groups are opposing the Siu Ho Wan reclamation project because the site is near the habitat of Chinese white dolphins. Photo: AFP


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