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February 2nd, 2016:

Island’s unique character is under threat – Letters to the Editor

I refer to Tammy Tam’s column (“Lantau: The next big chance to build new HK town”, January 18).

It has been argued that developing Lantau Island could be a way of dealing with Hong Kong’s inadequate housing infrastructure and strengthening the economy.

However, I do not think it would be a good idea to build a new “new town” on Lantau. First of all, such a project would damage the island’s natural environment. Hong Kong’s largest island has unique biodiversity which attracts thousands of locals and tourists. That unique character could be lost if Lantau becomes commercialised.

Building thousands of new housing units would not be compatible with existing infrastructure. Also, residents could find their lives disrupted by noise from aircraft if apartment blocks were built near the airport.

This would be similar to the problems Kowloon City residents experienced because of their proximity to the old Kai Tak airport. And if a lot of blocks were built near Disneyland this might make the theme park less attractive to visitors.

I have no doubt the development of Lantau could bring new opportunities and make a lot of money for some Hong Kong citizens. However, as I said, it is a flawed proposal. The government must take serious note of the views expressed by people during the public consultation, especially if it emerges that most citizens are opposed to it.

Any projects must be based on the principle of sustainable development and any white elephant plans which waste taxpayers’ money should be rejected.

Anson Sin, Tseung Kwan O
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Conservation a vital part of plan for Lantau – Letters to the Editor

I refer to the letter by Tom Yam (“Lantau committee sees island only as real estate”, January 27) and wish to provide relevant information for your readers.

The Lantau Development Advisory Committee published its work report “Space for All” on January 10 which is available on the website ( [1]).

The report details the proposed vision, planning principles and major proposals for the development of Lantau. Much emphasis is placed on balancing and enhancing development and conservation. For example, the projected future population and -economic developments are along the North Lantau Corridor of Tung Chung new town and its expansion, the airport and its surroundings, Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay.

As a long-term vision, the strategic East Lantau metropolis, if taken forward, may provide additional capacity to cover for Hong Kong’s economic and population growth.

Elsewhere, including Mui Wo and Tai O, the committee sees opportunities for conservation and leisure and recreation facilities for the people of Hong Kong.

There are also short-term measures such as improving existing sharp road bends, building mountain bike trails, and adding car parking spaces to ease the parking problem.

It is thus grossly inaccurate to describe the plan as “a swathe of real estate”. The committee’s discussion papers and notes of meetings are all uploaded to the website of the Development Bureau and members must comply with the house rules and requirements of registration and declaration of their personal interests.

With the “Space for All” report released, we are undertaking a public engagement exercise.

We welcome the public to read the materials on the above website and provide us with their views.

Lai Cheuk-ho, secretary, Lantau Development Advisory Committee

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