24 October 2016
Scuffles erupt between protesters and security guards in Ma Shi Po Village. Photo: RTHK
Scuffles erupt between protesters and security guards in Ma Shi Po Village. Photo: RTHK

Henderson Land starts removing protesters in Fanling site

Henderson Land Development deployed around 150 security guards to remove protesters who were trying to occupy a farmland in Ma Shi Po Village near Fanling, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The guards on Thursday fenced off the area to allow workers and supplies to enter the site.

The protesters, who are opposing new town developments, formed a human chain and tried to pull down the wire fencing, but were caught in a series of scuffles with the guards.

Henderson Land has been granted an extension of a court injunction barring anyone from entering and occupying the site and obstructing its personnel from working there.

Five security guards were said to have sustained injuries during the scuffles.

Defending his company’s development in Ma Shi Po Village, Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee said Hong Kong would not have become what it is today without the creation of satellite cities.

Lee said there are 66 million square feet of agricultural land available in northeastern New Territories, which could be turned into residential units to house 170,000 people.

“It is simply unreasonable to oppose the development of satellite cities,” he said.

Lee said the Ma Shi Po Village site, which measures around 5,500 square feet, is only a small fraction of the 66 million square feet of agricultural land available.

“There would not be a significant impact if we cannot take back this plot,” he said.

According to Apple Daily, Henderson Land is sitting on at least 2.33 million square feet of land in the northeastern New Territories.

The developer could be looking to develop 6 million square feet of residential floor space if it implements a land-exchange arrangement with the government on its rural land reserves.

If all of the flats are successfully sold, the developer could make a profit of up to HK$30 billion after costs, the newspaper said.

Under the land-exchange arrangement, a developer could apply to combine different plots it owns, amounting to at least 4,000 square meters in size, and conduct a land-swap with the government to develop housing projects on the combined plot.

However, developers must race against time to take back their land plots by the end of 2016 in order to qualify for the land-exchange arrangement.

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