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Old November 15th, 2015, 01:50 PM   #1961
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Nov 14, 2015
Are there other options than sacrificing green belts for homes?
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying sparked a controversy earlier this week by calling for a study on land use to make way for the construction of affordable housing in country parks.

Even before that, Leung, in his policy address last year, set his sights on 80 green belts for possible conversion into residential land.

Both suggestions drew immediate and harsh criticism from environmental groups.

Interestingly, the “land problem”, a term Leung has used to explain high property prices, has its parallel in Britain’s current housing crisis.

Both in Hong Kong and the UK, green belts and country parks have been placed in the center of debates about freeing more land to boost home supply.

This is no coincidence because laws and policies on designated use of green belts and country parks were introduced by the British colonial government.

We have no intention of discussing whether Hong Kong should be decolonized, as suggested by former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Chen Zouer, by discussing policies left behind by the former colonial ruler.

Rather, we think we can learn valuable lessons by studying how the UK handles issues that Hong Kong also faces.

Housing prices in Hong Kong and London are known for being awfully high.

Since Leung took office in July 2012, Hong Kong’s housing prices have soared over 45 percent at the end of June 2015.

Meanwhile, London’s housing prices have risen around 40 percent since 2013.

The gap between escalating housing prices and affordability continues to widen.

*********************************************

In Hong Kong, the Town Planning Ordinance empowers the Town Planning Board to stipulate the designated use of green belts, which is in accordance with the same principle in the UK, although the UK’s is much more comprehensive.

Comparatively, the green belts in Hong Kong are fragmented and their total size is relatively small.

However, country parks account for 40 percent of land in Hong Kong, measuring about 44,300 hectares, while another 35 percent of the land in the city is used for residential purposes.

The Country Park Ordinance, enacted in 1976, provides a legal framework based on a British enactment designating a total of 24 country parks in Hong Kong.

More : http://www.ejinsight.com/20151114-ar...lts-for-homes/
There is a simple solution - build higher. Why are there no residential supertalls in HK?
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Old November 15th, 2015, 02:06 PM   #1962
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There is a simple solution - build higher. Why are there no residential supertalls in HK?
Densities are already very high. New residentials easily reach 60 stories, and evacuating such a tall building in an emergency is a great challenge. Going up 100+ stories will pose safety issues and I don't think the existing dense landscape can take any more.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 09:33 AM   #1963
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Estate farmers get kick out of green backyard
The Standard Excerpt
Monday, November 16, 2015



A pilot scheme designed to give the Lam Tin Estate community a chance of green living has proved so successful the Housing Department is now considering extending it to other estates.

In the heart of the mainly residential area there's a patch of green that has converted inhabitants into city farmers, harvesting fruit, vegetables and herbs they have grown in their own backyard.

A trial waste-recycling scheme at the estate was launched in July last year.

Residents also make their own fertilizer.

Workers collect fallen leaves, trimmings, twigs, stalks and grass clippings, and place them in compost bins.

They return from time to time to stir the contents and after about two to three months the compost has turned into fertilizer.

Assistant housing manager Yan Siu-yi said the scheme provides a green living environment for the residents.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 09:56 AM   #1964
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Contractor’s troubles ‘won’t hit rail link’
15 November 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



Transport minister confident that joint venture firm’s financial ills in Singapore will not push back Sha Tin-Central project further

Financial problems plaguing a contractor responsible for part of the Sha Tin-Central link will not further delay progress on the troubled railway, the transport minister says.

Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung was responding to an Oriental Daily report that Sembawang Engineers and Constructors, part of a joint venture building a station for the link, was having financial problems in Singapore, its home office.

The link was one of a series of MTR projects facing delays, with the discovery of a vast trove of archaeological treasures at the future To Kwa Wan station pushing work back at least a year.

“The MTR has reported the matter to the Highways Department,” Cheung said of the contractor’s difficulties. “According to the contract, if one company of the joint venture has any problem, the other company has the responsibility to fulfil the contract … So far there’s nothing unusual in the report we received.”

Neither Sembawang’s Hong Kong office nor its partner in the joint venture, Leader Civil Engineering Corporation, could be reached for comment yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the MTR said the company had “paid attention to the market in Singapore in the past two months and understood the situation”.

The contract ensured that the joint venture would perform as usual regardless of litigation and financial issues, she added.

It won a HK$1.67 billion contract to connect Diamond Hill station to the new line in 2012. The project included relocation of heritage structures, archaeological digs and a new part of the station 30 metres underground.

The first stage of the railway, linking Tai Wai, Kai Tak and Hung Hom, was expected to go into operation in 2019. A connection to Hong Kong Island and a new Exhibition station in Wan Chai would follow two years later.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 01:57 PM   #1965
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Upper West 奧城.西岸
10/25

11/7


嘉頓山 by Eric Li, on Flickr
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Old November 18th, 2015, 04:33 AM   #1966
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Hong Kong power utility CLP Power hopes to start work on new gas-fired generation unit next year
17 November 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

CLP Power hopes to begin work on one additional gas-fired generation unit at its Black Point plant in the second half of next year as it aims to meet the government's new future electricity mix for 2020.

Earlier this year, the utility - which supplies power to Kowloon and the New Territories - submitted a project profile for an environmental permit for the construction of "up to two" 600-megawatt-class natural-gas-fired units. It currently operates eight.

But managing director Paul Poon Wai-yin yesterday said the company now estimates only one more will be needed to meet the government's target of having 50 per cent of the city's electricity come from natural gas generation in five years.

"Previous plans for two units was a conservative forecast for this long-term investment," he said. "After a year of research, we believe one unit is enough to meet the fuel mix needs ... we hope the unit can be commissioned by 2020."

From an engineering standpoint, the company stressed preliminary works would have to begin at the Lung Kwu Tan plant by late next year in order to meet the 2020 deadline. Before that, the company would have had to pass its environmental impact assessment (EIA).
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Old November 18th, 2015, 05:16 AM   #1967
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Shatin - Central Line : Kowloon City Section
10/15

IMG_7084 - 九龍城 Kowloon City by Mak_Ho, on Flickr

Kai Tak Section
5/29

2015-05-29_06.12.38 by Billy [email protected], on Flickr
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Old November 18th, 2015, 07:46 AM   #1968
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One Bay East
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By isaacloklok from dcfever :

Wheelock cautious over second half
21 August 2015
The Standard Excerpt

Wheelock Group (0020) said first half underlying profit jumped 78.43 percent to HK$6.33 billion thanks to property sales.

The period saw profit of HK$9.93 billion from commercial blocks One Bay East in Kowloon Bay and robust rental revenue. Interim net profit, after adjustments in property fair value, rose 4.31 percent to HK$8 billion.

Chairman Douglas Woo Chun-kuen said he would not rush out more projects ahead of the looming US interest rate hike.

He maintains a cautious look on the property market in the second half due also to high construction costs.

Earnings per share amounted to HK$3.94. Interim dividend of 42.5 HK cents was declared, up 10.39 percent from 38.5 HK cents a year ago.
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Last edited by hkskyline; November 18th, 2015 at 07:51 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 03:43 PM   #1969
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8/7



Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
28/F, T/O
http://www.shacombank.com.hk/pdf/PRL450E.pdf

11/18

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Old November 19th, 2015, 04:33 AM   #1970
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Upper West 奧城.西岸
10/25

11/14

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Old November 19th, 2015, 08:14 PM   #1971
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Do you have informations about the U/C building in blue scaffolding next to it ?

They should demolish all the gritty and dirty looking buildings in Kowloon , this part of the city should be face lifted , it would be very interesting if they build some art deco towers to replace them , it'd make Kowloon an interesting architectural destination to visit ...
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Old November 20th, 2015, 03:37 AM   #1972
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Do you have informations about the U/C building in blue scaffolding next to it ?

They should demolish all the gritty and dirty looking buildings in Kowloon , this part of the city should be face lifted , it would be very interesting if they build some art deco towers to replace them , it'd make Kowloon an interesting architectural destination to visit ...
The blue U/C part is Square Mile - the project thread is here : http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1865990
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Old November 21st, 2015, 07:01 AM   #1973
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Nov. 17, 2015
Why there is no shortage of land in Hong Kong

Joseph Goebbels, the notorious minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany, once memorably said: “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

Goebbels would never have dreamed that what he said in the 1930s would become reality more than 80 years later in a city halfway around the world known as Hong Kong, where the public is beginning to buy into the notion that the city is plagued by a shortage of land, after government officials have repeated that a thousand times.

Not only has Secretary of Development Paul Chan Mo-po been repeating the pressing need to tap into the land in our country parks to build public rental housing flats in the face of a land shortage, but the Our Hong Kong Foundation think tank headed by former chief executive Tung Chee-wah is also pitching this idea in its latest research report.

It said that over the next 30 years, Hong Kong may need an extra 9,000 hectares (90 square kilometers) of land to house its growing population.

The truth is that a mere 16 square kilometers of land now houses 2.43 million people in public housing estates.

If our population really hits 8.97 million in 2044, the upper limit of the Statistics Department’s estimated range, we would just need an extra 11 square kilometers of land.

As we can see, the perception that Hong Kong is seriously short of land is only a myth that has been fabricated by the government to hide the hard truth: even though there is actually no shortage of land for public housing in our city, a lot of the vacant land is off limits to the Housing Authority because it is either designated for particular uses or owned by powerful entities such as the People’s Liberation Army or exclusive country clubs.

For example, as much as roughly 16 square kilometers of land in Hong Kong is designated for “warehouses and open storage areas” by the Town Planning Board.

This alone is enough to build homes for 2.43 million people.

That is not to mention a further 17 square kilometers of land that is designated as “vacant land/construction in progress” but which, in reality, is mostly sitting idle.

This category of land could house a further 2.43 million people or more.

These types of land are often located in areas that are much more accessible than country parks and already have basic facilities in place, such as underground water pipes.

Aren’t they more ready for building homes on than our countryside?

In other words, there is a lot of vacant land in our city, only that much of it is not at the government’s disposal, hence the so-called shortage of land.

To put it more bluntly, the land shortage is just a common fallacy and is the direct result of unequal distribution of public resources in our city.
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Old November 24th, 2015, 02:29 PM   #1974
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Hong Kong developer submits downsized plan for 'state of art' columbarium in Chai Wan
South China Morning Post Excerpt
24 November 2015







Developers behind a proposed "state-of-the-art" private columbarium in Chai Wan have submitted a revised town planning application with 30 per cent fewer niches.

Kerry Warehouse said the move, which would see capacity reduced from 120,000 urn niches to 82,000, was made to minimise the potential impact on residents and the surrounding area.

The company withdrew its first application earlier this year amid strong opposition from local people and politicians.

Some expressed misgivings about having another columbarium nearby. There were also concerns about traffic jams during grave-sweeping festivals.

The plan involves converting a warehouse on Ka Yip Street to a 15-storey private columbarium called the Island Memorial Centre. Niches would be equipped with digital photo plaques of the deceased and the facility will restrict burning of joss, incense or offerings to funeral days.

The company said traffic issues would be solved by free shuttle bus services from Heng Fa Chuen and Quarry Bay MTR stations. A system would be introduced to restrict visits to preregistered appointments.

"Having listened to the views and concerns of the local community and stakeholders, Kerry Warehouse has revised the plan to address local community needs and concerns," the company said.

"The facility will help alleviate the shortage of urn niches, while … setting new standards for the industry."
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Old November 25th, 2015, 07:00 AM   #1975
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Tycoon plans cheap homes for young and old
The Standard Excerpt
Friday, January 16, 2015





Henderson Land (0012) chairman Lee Shau-kee laid out bold plans yesterday to build cheap homes for the elderly and young people.

The elderly would be able to secure new flats for as little as HK$100,000 just over the border in Guangdong, while the tycoon wants to build apartments costing just HK$1 million for youth in Hong Kong.

Lee said local housing prices are about to peak, though the market is unlikely to collapse even if interest rates go up.

To help resolve the SAR's housing problems, Lee wants to join hands with Country Garden (2007) chairman Yang Guoqiang to provide 10,000 flats for seniors in either the Nansha district of Guangzhou or Huizhou city, both of which are less than two hours' drive from Hong Kong.

"Construction cost in the mainland is just about a tenth of that in Hong Kong, which means for every unit built here, we can build 10 in the mainland," Lee said.

Lee said people will have a better chance moving into a flat of their own under his proposed program than by applying for public housing.

"What's the point of fighting so hard for one quota?" said Lee, referring to the overwhelming response to the Housing Authority's latest batch of subsidized flats coming on the market in 2016.

Lee said his top priority is to help the young. He raised the possibility of building 5,000 flats at Tai Hang Sai Estate in Shek Kip Mei for employed local youths. The project is named "housing for entrepreneurial, hard-working youths."

At about HK$1 million each, the units will not require any downpayment. Buyers could choose to pay HK$9,600 monthly at a fixed 3 percent interest rate for 10 years or they could pay HK$5,500 per month for 20 years. "I hope every young person can become a millionaire by owning an affordable home, so that Hong Kong will be a paradise," said Lee.

But such homes cannot be sold in the secondary market.

Lee has not decided how to compensate and relocate the existing occupants of the 1,300 apartments who will be affected if the Shek Kip Mei project is implemented.

The apartments are owned by Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corp Ltd of which Lee is a shareholder and serves on the board.Both types of flats for the young and the old will each measure 300 square feet. Existing tenants at Tai Hang Sai Estate last night demanded that if the project is approved they should get priority rights to buy HOS flats and also be exempted from detailed screening for renting public units.
LCQ19: Redevelopment of Tai Hang Sai Estate
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Government Press Release Excerpt

Question:

The Chief Executive mentioned in the 2015 Policy Address that the Government must actively explore ways to increase the supply of subsidised sale flats through a multi-pronged approach by engaging public or non-profit-making organisations including the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA), the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and the Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation Limited (HKSHCL), in order that, by so doing, more property choices and home ownership opportunities will be provided for low and middle-income families. However, so far there has been no progress in the redevelopment of Tai Hang Sai (THS) Estate, the only private low-cost housing estate owned and managed by HKSHCL. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the latest progress of the authorities' work in exploring ways to increase the supply of subsidised sale flats through HKSHCL; the details of the discussions between the authorities and HKSHCL on the matter since the delivery of the aforesaid Policy Address; whether HKSHCL has put forward any concrete proposal for redeveloping THS Estate; if HKSHCL has, of the details; whether the authorities have offered any suggestions and assistance in respect of the relevant proposal and the rehousing of the residents of THS Estate; if they have not, of the reasons for that;

(2) as there is still no noticeable progress in the redevelopment of THS Estate, whether the authorities have assessed if the statement mentioned in the Policy Address regarding increasing the supply of subsidised sale flats through HKSHCL is merely empty talk; if they have assessed and the outcome is in the negative, of the specific timetable for taking forward such work; and

(3) whether the authorities will, on the basis of the consideration of making optimum use of the precious lands in the urban areas, step in proactively in the redevelopment of THS Estate, including (i) formulating different redevelopment approaches and plans, (ii) recovering the site of THS Estate by invoking the relevant land lease conditions, (iii) handing the site in question to HA, HKHS or URA for comprehensive redevelopment, and (iv) rehousing the residents of THS Estate by following the practices adopted by HA for rehousing residents affected by public housing redevelopment; if they will not, of the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

With inputs from the Development Bureau, the Lands Department and the Planning Department, my consolidated reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Frederick Fung is as follows.

********************************************************

In respect of HKSHCL, the Government granted a parcel of land at a concessionary rate to HKSHCL in 1961 for the development of Tai Hang Sai (THS) Estate and stipulated in the land lease that HKSHCL should, on the land granted, provide at least 1 600 flats for letting to persons of small means. THS Estate is a private rental housing estate and is constructed, let and managed by HKSHCL as the lessee of the lot (i.e. N.K.I.L. 4 479). It is neither owned nor managed by the Government or HA. The redevelopment arrangements of THS Estate are also determined by HKSHCL. Just like other private property owners, as long as the redevelopment complies with the legislation, including the Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131), the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123), etc., and relevant lease conditions, HKSHCL can decide on its own as to whether, how and when to redevelop THS Estate.

********************************************************

The Government understands that all along HKSHCL wishes to redevelop THS Estate on its own and is still considering various feasible options. However, HKSHCL has yet to submit its concrete plan or application for redevelopment. After HKSHCL formulates a concrete proposal and submits applications to the Government, the Government will consider matters relating to compliance with planning requirements and modification of lease conditions of the lot concerned according to applicable policies. As there is no information indicating that HKSHCL is in breach of relevant lease conditions, the Government has no grounds nor intention to re-enter the land concerned.

As we have pointed out in our reply to the written question by Hon Frederick Fung in April 2015, in examining various redevelopment proposals, HKSHCL, as the grantee and redeveloper, has to continue to cater for the housing needs of the residents in THS Estate and to work out proper rehousing arrangements. According to HA's prevailing policy, HA will not rehouse residents affected by HKSHCL's redevelopment exercise on behalf of the corporation. At the moment, the number of people awaiting allocation of HA's public rental housing (PRH) flats is large and is continuously increasing, and demand for HOS flats is also keen. As THS Estate is not a public housing estate under HA and its redevelopment programme is not under HA, it would be unfair to PRH and HOS applicants if HA is required to use its public housing resources to rehouse the residents of THS Estate.
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Old November 26th, 2015, 12:13 PM   #1976
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015
China Daily Excerpt
Pushed to the brink

As Tai Hang Sai Estate - where some of the district’s poorest and elderly have lived for decades — gears up for redevelopment, Andrea Deng asks if the govt should help those facing imminent displacement.







The moldy smell permeates a 100-square-feet room as spring brings heavy moisture to this half-century-old Tai Hang Sai Estate. In this shabby office of Tai Hang Sai Residents’ Concern Group, furnished with only a couple of folding chairs, the smell didn’t appear to bother the four residents, discussing the galling worry that their lives might end up sinking into a financial morass and possibly homelessness.

Built in the 1960s by 10 “gentlemen” of prominence and wealth, Tai Hang Sai Estate has traditionally been home to some of the district’s poorest families, including elderly, single people too old and sick to get out of bed.

Life is not perfect here, but it’s easier, living with rents between HK$500 and HK$1,600 a month. Even the city’s notorious “cage houses” — subdivided flats, infamous for cramped, poorly-ventilated living spaces — would cost a good deal more.

Back in 2010 the residents of the 1,300 households at the estate had eagerly anticipated a word from the Town Planning Board, announcing a renovation of the premises. And then they were told that when the said renovation happened they might not have a place in the housing any more.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Ping-leung stated clearly that the government took no responsibility for the resettlement of the people living in Tai Hang Sai Estate, privately owned by the heirs of the 10 “gentlemen”, operating as the Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation.

The owners offered residents a chance to purchase their rebuilt homes, 30 percent below market price. Residents who agreed to purchase the renewed houses would be temporarily resettled in some of Tai Hang Sai’s empty units, free of charge, before the renewal project is completed in roughly five years.

The reaction of residents however was strongly averse, leading to outrage and even despair.

More : http://www.chinadailyasia.com/focus/..._15243321.html
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Old November 27th, 2015, 10:12 AM   #1977
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Tuen Mun plant to take brunt of sewage toll on landfills
28 October 2010



The new sludge treatment facility to be built in Tuen Mun will be able to handle up to 2,000 tonnes of sewage each day, easing the burden on landfills and noses, Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said.

The seven-hectare facility in Tsang Tsui is expected to reduce the volume of sludge being disposed of in landfills by 90 percent.

Construction of the HK$4.96 billion plant, which will use advanced European Union incineration technology, will be completed by 2013.

Thermal energy generated from incineration will be converted into electricity to fully supply the plant's needs, while the excess will be fed into the power grid.

The sludge facility, which will have a streamlined wave-form design to blend into its waterside location, will also have an environmental education center to give its visitors insight into operations at the plant, an exhibition room as well as a lecture theater.

It will also include a water spa center for visitors and an ecological garden, which can double as a habitat for water birds.

Speaking after the contract-signing ceremony, Yau estimated 1,000 tonnes of sludge will not be dumped in landfills once the facility is up and running.

He also said the government will speed up environmental impact assessments on the site proposed for the Tsang Tsui incinerator as well as for another at Shek Kwu Chau on Lantau before deciding on location and numbers this year.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Top court clears way for incinerator
China Daily Excerpt



HONG KONG - The Court of Final Appeal on Thursday rejected a bid against an incinerator to be built on Shek Kwu Chau, south of Lantau Island.

A judicial review filed by Leung Hon-wai, a resident on Cheung Chau which is to the east of Shek Kwu Chau, has earlier been rejected in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Legislative Council Finance Committee approved early this year a HK$19.2 billion funding for the incinerator.

The argument of Leung's counsel Hectar Pun centered around the approval of an environmental impact assessment report and the issuance of a permit for the project by the Director of Environmental Protection.

Pun argued that it is "absurd" for the environment chief to be given authority to approve a report submitted by its own department and issue related permit, saying that this might have given rise to conflict of interest.

Pun said the environmental impact assessment report should be compiled by another government for the Environmental Protection Department's consideration.

The judges noted that the court has agreed earlier that the environment chief was impartial and neutral in approving the report.
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Old November 29th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #1978
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Upton 維港峰
180 CONNAUGHT ROAD WEST
41/F, labels up to 46/F after omitted floors (4, 13, 14, 24, 34, 44)

11/28









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Old December 2nd, 2015, 09:11 AM   #1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
11/14

Upper West 奧城.西岸
11/22



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Old December 2nd, 2015, 01:39 PM   #1980
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Dec 1, 2015
Hong Kong activists mount online defense of country parks

Hong Kong environmental groups are planning a social media storm to protest a government plan to develop country parks for housing.

They will start uploading photos online on Dec. 13 under the hastag #saveourcountryparks to raise awareness of the potential ecological impact of the proposal, Apple Daily reports.

The Save Our Country Parks Alliance which includes World Wide Fund For Nature, Green Power and Designing Hong Kong will field volunteers to 15 country parks.

They will help visitors take pictures and upload them to their social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter.

Hong Kong has 24 country parks and special areas which collectively account for 40 percent of its land mass.

Last year, they received 11.7 million visitors.

Dr. Cheng Luk-ku, division head of scientific research and conservation of Green Power, said these country parks not only promote biodiversity but also offer Hong Kong people a natural retreat.

Also, they serve educational and research purposes, he said.

Cheng criticized the government for downgrading the ecological importance of some of these country parks, saying the move was intentional in order to justify the development plan.
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