Baroque on Lamma – June 22, 2011

Living Lamma’s submission to ERM on the social impact assessment for the Baroque on Lamma (Planning application Y/I-LI/1)

Presented on 22nd June 2011 at the “Social Impact Assessment Workshop” organised by ERM Limited and held at the Tai Yuen Seafood Restaurant, 15 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan

Cc: The Town Planning Board

  1. Preamble
    1. Living Lamma has been invited to participate in a “Social Impact Assessment Workshop” by ERM, consultants to the Baroque on Lamma Ltd (BoL).
    2. Living Lamma’s participation in the workshop does not indicate support for the project.
    3. Living Lamma has voiced its concerns about the organisation of the workshop. These are:
      1. Location – Sok Kwu Wan is an extremely inconvenient location for all but the people who live there. Other participants have to come from Mo Tat Wan (a 40 minute walk away), Yung Shue Wan (over an hour away by foot) or other parts of Hong Kong by ferry from Central or Aberdeen. Inclement weather conditions at his time of the year mean this location is risky too, as the meeting may have to be cancelled at short notice.
      2. Intended participants – From the questions below and the location of the workshop, it seems that ERM is focusing on “local people” in Sok Kwu Wan for the basis of their investigations. Many of the “local people” have already benefitted from the sale of land to the developer. This ignores the social impact on the rest of Hong Kong of the proposed exploitation of this shared resource.
      3. Participation by the developer – the developer will be present at the workshop. Living Lamma is concerned that the presence of the developer will discourage some participants from speaking their minds and influence the outcome of the investigation.
      4. Lack of adequate identification of stakeholders – South Lamma is an asset for the whole of Hong Kong, not just people who live there. A change of zoning has significant implications for the sustainability of other sensitive areas all over the territory. There has been little attempt to include people from outside the immediate locality.
      5. Insensitivity to local politics – Living Lamma considers the restaurant location to be inappropriate. On January 14, 2011, a neighbouring restaurant was used for a King Wong (a BoL partner) gala dinner at which around 300 villagers, including elected representatives, were treated to dinner complete with TVB presenters and expensive door prizes (see link): http://www.compunicate.com/Lamma-zine/PG-2/King-Wong-Annual-Dinner-2011.htm The memory of this dinner will be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Living Lamma knows of people who are not willing to speak out at such a forum as they view it as a meeting between the developer and their friends, rather than any serious attempt at research. There are also concerns about possible repercussions of presenting alternative views.
      6. Lack of Bilingual Session – ERM divides its workshop into 2 sessions: one for Cantonese and one for English. The lack of bilingual session means that there is a lack of transparency or opportunity for alternative opinions to be shared.
      7. Refusal by ERM to provide Minutes – Living Lamma asked that the workshop be minuted. ERM has refused this request. There is no satisfactory mechanism in place to ensure that what people say is recorded accurately.
      8. Refusal by ERM to allow the workshop to be recorded – Living Lamma has asked to record the proceedings of the workshop. This request has been refused.

Living Lamma has already experienced ERM’s “consultation” methods for the EIA that was conducted by ERM for BoL. We have communicated our dissatisfaction with that process with ERM. There was no public notification of the EIA consultation. Rather, Living Lamma was alerted by a resident of South Lamma. With very short notice, ERM announced that there would be a meeting in Sok Kwu Wan on the afternoon of Monday 20th December to discuss the Baroque development. Unsurprisingly, none of our members could attend at short notice and in such an inconvenient time and location.

Living Lamma wrote to ERM to say that if a consultation was to be held, a time and location that was convenient to people should be arranged. We arranged a meeting for January 14, 2011 in the IFC. We asked BoL and ERM to forward details of the project so it could be considered in advance of the meeting. We received nothing. When Living Lamma representatives arrived at the “consultation”, it was discovered that the developer was buying lunch.

During the lunch, there was a PowerPoint photomontage of various beautiful locations around the world that had absolutely nothing to do with the company. We asked for the presentation so we could share it with our members and prepare a response, but that was refused. Further consultation was promised, but we were not provided with any information, despite our requests, until the day before the TPB application was made public. We have since discovered that ERM prepared an EIA project brief for the EPD without any input from Living Lamma, even though further consultation was promised.

It is unsurprising that Living Lamma members are wary of this process given ERM’s insistence on a lack of transparency, the inconvenience of the location and the insensitivity to local politics. We have, therefore prepared this written submission for presentation at the “SIA Workshop”. If there are any further questions, these should be made in writing and sent to livinglamma@yahoo.com.

The Social Impact Assessment for BoL’s Proposals for South Lamma

The questions for the Social Impact Assessment are based solely on BoL’s presentation of a single future. Living Lamma members considers this approach misleading.

There are several future scenarios to consider should BoL be successful in rezoning areas of South Lamma zoned for conservation, coastal protection and agriculture as land zoned for development.

  1. The Baroque is never finished

In this scenario the landscape value of South Lamma is destroyed as the developer turns the area into a building site. Lamma’s status as an eco-destination is seriously undermined. Habitats are damaged or lost and vegetation is destroyed. Tourists and Hong Kong day-trippers stop visiting and school parties no longer use the area for field trips. Businesses in Sok Kwu Wan suffer as a result. Hong Kong government suffers a loss of face for allowing the development to happen.

  1. The Baroque is finished but fails to attract buyers

“The Sea Ranch Model”

In this scenario the landscape value of South Lamma is destroyed as the developer turns the area into a building site. Lamma’s status as an eco-destination is seriously undermined. Habitats are damaged or lost. Tourists and Hong Kong day-trippers stop visiting and school parties no longer use the area for field trips. Businesses in Sok Kwu Wan suffer as a result. Hong Kong government suffers a loss of face for allowing the development to happen. The once unspoilt, beautiful landscape is scattered with concrete buildings that soon fall into disrepair and littered with construction waste and materials. Visitors to Hong Kong cannot understand why the Hong Kong government would allow this to happen. People who live here can’t understand why they have allowed this to happen again. Other projects suffer as decision-making comes under closer scrutiny. Opportunities for marinas and other, more well conceived, development projects elsewhere are affected.

  1. The Baroque is finished but falls short of its promises

“The Cyberport Model”

In this scenario, the promises made to mitigate the impact on the environment prove uneconomical or unfeasible. In effect, BoL is just another real estate project. The landscape value of South Lamma is destroyed as the developer turns the area into a building site. Lamma’s status as an eco-destination is seriously undermined. Hong Kong loses its last remaining nesting site for green turtles. Tourists stop visiting and school parties no longer use the area for field trips. (Note: tourists do not visit Discovery Bay and children do not go there for their environmental field trips). Businesses in Sok Kwu Wan suffer as a result.

In this scenario, the developer may not secure the ferry service it needs to attract people to live in the area. It may not attract enough people to move there to make a ferry service viable. If there is a ferry service, the fares may discourage people from moving to South Lamma, or the developer will have to subsidise the service to such an extent that it may become uneconomical.

Hong Kong government receives bad publicity for allowing one of Hong Kong’s sensitive ecological areas to become another housing development and international condemnation for not doing more to protect the green turtle. Other projects suffer as decision-making comes under closer scrutiny. Opportunities for marinas and other, more well conceived, development projects elsewhere are affected.

Some Sok Kwu Wan businesses have been unable to survive the construction period and have been bought up by the developer. Others are holding out, but will not survive for long in the face of competition from global brands and the loss of trade from people who no longer visit South Lamma because of the destruction of the natural landscape and the rural character.

  1. The Baroque is finished to BoL’s plan

“The Discovery Bay Model”

In this scenario, the landscape value of South Lamma is destroyed as the developer turns the area into a building site. Lamma’s status as an eco-destination is seriously undermined. Habitats are damaged or lost. Tourists and Hong Kong day-trippers stop visiting and school parties no longer use the area for field trips. Businesses in Sok Kwu Wan suffer as a result of the long construction period.

The “conservation corridors” and ecology centre are included in the development. Unfortunately, the area has already suffered such irreparable environmental damage from the construction of the site that these additions cannot compensate for the loss of habitat and landscape value. Hong Kong loses its last remaining nesting site for green turtles and receives international criticism for its lack of commitment to conservation.

Also in this scenario, the developer may not secure the ferry service it needs to attract people to live in the area. It may not attract enough people to move there to make a ferry service viable. If there is a ferry service, the fares may discourage people from moving to South Lamma, or the developer will have to subsidise the service to such an extent that it may become uneconomical.

Hong Kong government receives bad publicity for allowing one of Hong Kong’s sensitive ecological areas to become another housing development and international condemnation for not doing more to protect the green turtle. Other projects suffer as decision-making comes under closer scrutiny. Opportunities for marinas elsewhere are affected.

Some Sok Kwu Wan businesses have been unable to survive the construction period and have been bought up by the developer. Others are holding out, but will not survive for long in the face of competition from global brands and the loss of trade from people who no longer visit South Lamma because of the destruction of the natural landscape and the rural character.

For the development to be able to sustain itself, further development is required. This is easily obtained as the construction period has driven out objectors to the plan, closed local businesses and set a precedent for the mass development of the area. Like the Discovery Bay model, all transactions are now under the control of the developer.

Hong Kong loses a unique place – a car-free environment with stunning, unspoilt scenery and ecological interest, just 30 minutes from Central. How many other cities can boast of such an important asset? How many world-class cities would risk squandering such a resource?

Responses to Specific Questions Asked by ERM for the SIA

ERM’s “Questionnaire B” regarding Stakeholder Perceptions about BoL (Original document in black) Comments from living lamma given in BLUE.

Relevant Project Information:

Total Project area – 853,520sqm, 83% are government land

Private Land owned by Project Proponent (Landside) – 65, 620sqm, 90% of the total privately own land

Landside Project area 423,520sqm, Marine Land -90,000sqm, Marine Sea -340,000sqm

Marina – 500 berths capacity

Able to hold international event

Achieve Blue Flag eco-Label, or its equivalent

Commercial area of GFA 27,000sqm (restaurant, shops and other services (eg clinics))

A private members club – The Yacht Club and a Sailing Academy

Northern Area

Residential units of 852, no more than 4 storey

Commercial area of GFA 3,000sqm

Southern Area

A 6- star spa resort hotel comprise 120 low rise guestroom blocks and villas

No more than 4 storeys

Other relevant information that ERM has failed to include:

This area is zoned for agriculture, as conservation area and as coastal protection area. It is one of Hong Kong’s natural assets, currently open for public use. The presentation of the project given by the company has nothing to do with reality. Pictures of beautiful locations around the globe and architectural drawings are no guarantee of the company’s intent and certainly do not provide any indication of its potential for success.

Wikipedia has this to say about the 6-star hotel rating: “Some members of the hospitality industry have claimed a six or seven-star rating for their operation. As no organization or formal body awards or recognizes any rating over five star deluxe, such claims are meaningless and predominantly used for advertising purposes. The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai is widely described as a “seven-star” property, but the hotel says the label originates from an unnamed British journalist on a press trip and that they neither encourage its use nor do they use it in their advertising.”

Potential Impacts:

Estimated over 10,000 visitors during events

Information: Influx of 1,000 to 2,000 construction workers

2,000 + employments in marina, hotel, restaurants and other commercial activity

Loss of access to approximately 50ha of fishing ground
Landscape impact to residents of Tung O Village, Yung Shue Ha, new Mo Tat and old Mo Tat Village and hikers
Potential vibration impact to two archaeological locations at Yung Shue Ha.

Mitigation measures implementation can eliminate impact

Two Potential ferry destinations (Central – 33mins from Development; and Aberdeen – 13mins from Development)

Water taxi

The potential for visitors is based on the assumption that this developer will indeed carry out its plans and that the concept will prove a success. There is no reason to believe this is true, when half of the joint venture partner is a mainland property firm, new to Lamma and unfamiliar with the environmental challenges facing the island and the other has been involved in the development of a residential area (Lamma 1)[1] on the north side of Lamma for more than 10 years, which has no environmental attributes and has yet to rent or sell a single unit.

Living Lamma members believe the future potential loss to the people of Hong Kong as a beautiful area falls prey to speculation, is very great indeed.

Questions:

Structured interview technique to be used – hence order and form of questions to follow the discussion with target interviewees. Exact wording below will not necessarily be used by interviewers. Questions may be integrated with those seeking data/information.

To ensure our words are not taken out of context, Living Lamma will only respond on the record to questions at the workshop for which a written response has been prepared.

Population
There will be more people living and working in this area of South Lamma (2,000 – 3,000 people living in the area, 500-2000 jobs)

Living Lamma members do not believe this project will ever come to fruition and question the validity of such projections. Therefore, this statement is untrue. We do not trust the developer. This is speculation dressed up as an eco-development and we sincerely hope that it will not get the change of zoning it needs to go ahead.

On the other hand, should the developer chose to conduct an experiment in eco-development in an appropriate area that is already zoned for development we would like to be able to support such a project.

    • There be an impact on the population structure (greater number of younger people). Is this positive or negative for South Lamma?

There is no proof that this model will work. This statement cannot be substantiated. Any change of this magnitude will place the community under great stress for an extended period of time or permanently.

    • Will the population change be a positive/ negative impact?

For such a project to bring the necessary benefits to Hong Kong in terms of employment, it is necessary to have public transport links. The existing Lamma ferry routes struggle and the distance between Yung Shue Wan and the proposed development (2 hour walk) and Sok Kwu Wan and the proposed development (45 minutes) means that the development would not attract further passengers to make their route viable. In order to have any kind of positive impact, BoL should consider alternative sites that are more suitable to their objectives – sites that are zoned for development, do not have such a negative environmental impact, that are accessible by road, and that have sea conditions that are safer for sailing.

Economic and livelihood
Jobs will be created directly by the project (500-2000)

While estimates of employment can be problematic, we fail to see how any serious proposal could have a 1500 person discrepancy in the number of jobs projected. Living Lamma members believe such projections to be speculation designed to show the project in a positive light and as such they carry no substance.

    • Direct employment opportunities will be skilled, semi-skilled and non-skilled (restaurant, hotel, cleaning, gardening, marine repair etc) and open to those within and outside Lamma. Will this be positive or negative for South Lamma?

The impact of the project on South Lamma is overwhelmingly negative. Living Lamma members do not believe in the intent of the project or that South Lamma is an appropriate location for it. Why have no alternatives been offered? This question glosses over the reality of the proposal, which will require a large group of unskilled labourers if it is to succeed. These will most likely be sourced from outside Lamma. This will require the provision of ferry services that workers are unlikely to want to pay for. As we have seen from other, much smaller scale projects, the importation of labour has had a detrimental effect on Lamma environment. The question also assumes that the future that BoL presents is real and achievable. Living Lamma members do not believe that this is so.

    • Will this affect movement of indigenous people into or out of the area?

Will their traditional Sunday outdoor mahjong games be disrupted by large-scale development? Yes. Will the peace and serenity of the area be destroyed? Most definitely. Will indigenous people flock to park their yachts in the marina? Of course not. Will they move because their home has been turned into a building site? They may lack the means to do so, but they are unlikely to be happy. Their enjoyment of the area will be impaired and this will cause social disharmony within the community. Will tourists and hikers still flock to Sok Kwu Wan restaurants and hike the South Lamma family trail if it has been turned into a building site? No. Will Sok Kwu Wan restaurants be able to survive the disruption and negative publicity caused by this project should it go ahead? Very unlikely. Noise and disruption will negatively affect all business activities in the area.

There could be some impact on local business activities associated with the project

What is the intent of this statement? Currently South Lamma has a couple of places selling soft drinks. They will likely be put out of business – hikers will not want to visit a building site. There are youth group leaders who organise nature tours and people who are trying to develop cottage eco-businesses, who will also be forced out of the area. The Baroque will compromise the whole proposition of South Lamma as an eco-destination. The next nearest business is a 45-minute hike away over a big hill. They too are likely to suffer as the natural beauty of the area is turned into a building site.

In BoL’s version of the future, there will be new businesses. In a previous meeting with Living Lamma, a plaza with a 7/11 and a McDonalds was mentioned by August Tiu, Head of Project for the Baroque (Meeting of January 14, 2011).

Lamma is unique in Hong Kong for not having any global restaurant or retail chains. Lamma people like to support local businesses, knowing the money that they spend helps to support their friends and their friend’s families. Large supermarket and restaurant chains may in the first instance attract customers with lower prices. As a result the small businesses will fail. Before long, every transaction that takes place puts money in the hands of the developer, while the local families have lost their livelihoods.

    • There will be changes to the area, including loss of around 48 ha of fishing ground. There will be construction of a breakwater which may encourage fish spawning. Will the project impact existing fishing activities positively or negatively?

(See below)

    • In your opinion, will there be any impact of the proposed changes in seaweed collection?

(See below)

    • Will the development affect the farming activities, if so, how?

(And in answer to the previous two questions) – whilst there are few people who carry out traditional activities such as fishing, seaweed collection and farming in the proposed development area, the loss of landscape value and ecology that will be caused should the developer succeed in getting the land rezoned for development is immeasurable. This will remove the ability of future generations to experience and appreciate the heritage of the area.

There could be some impact on local employment through increased population and tourists demanding services such as restaurants, arts and crafts, tours etc

There is no proof that this project will bring increased tourists. It is more likely that people will not want to visit a once beautiful landscape that has been scarred by real estate development. There is also no guarantee that the promised jobs will go to locals. It is likely that the construction of this project will destroy existing local jobs in the area which service tourism.

    • Will tourism related employment (eg water sports, trails) be positively or negatively affected by the project? Negatively – existing tourism and educational tours will be put out of business. Restaurant trade in Sok Kwu Wan will be damaged.
    • What do you think the impact on local restaurants will be?

The nearest restaurants to the site are a 45-minute walk away. We cannot foresee that the destruction of South Lamma will increase their trade. In the future presented by BoL, it is unlikely that visitors to the resort will want to venture further afield when the resort is providing high-class eateries. Should BoL’s plans come to fruition, it is likely that the local restaurants will be put out of business or bought up by the development.

    • What do you think the impact on local private ferry/kai do services will be? Fewer people will want to visit or live on South Lamma because of the loss of tranquillity and loss of a natural environment. Those who visit the Baroque will not use the existing ferry service to Sok Kwu Wan as the landing point is too far away. The Mo Tat Wan ferry service may need to be revamped altogether, which means that bigger operators are likely to push aside small ones.
    • What do you think the impact on local arts/crafts businesses will be?

These businesses will not survive because of the disruption caused by construction of the Baroque. Local artists and photographers will no longer visit the area.

    • Will it affect the current population income? How will it be affected?

Based on the likely scenarios outlined above, small, private enterprise will suffer. Construction work will negatively affect many business owners and some may be bankrupt by the time the construction is finished.

The project will include new residential housing areas. These may change local land values and rent:
    • Will the land value be affected positively or negatively?

This is an artificial question easily manipulated by the huge development consortium that backs the Baroque. If the Baroque fails, as Sea Ranch and Lamma 1 have, the land value will be negatively affected because the landscape will be forever scarred by a ghost town.

    • How about the price for accommodation and housing?

All these questions are based on false assumptions that the developer has the right to develop the land (it does not) and that its scheme will ever come to fruition (there is no evidence to suggest that it will). As we have seen on the north side of Lamma, property prices have little to do with this developer and more to do with rises in prices in other parts of Hong Kong.

Infrastructure
Certain trails in the area will be widened, others will have street lights. The vehicle access will not affect existing trails. There will be an additional public ferry service to the area.

These assumptions are based on the developer’s version of the future, which we do not think is credible. It seems that the developer is intent on promising local people certain improvements that are currently under the remit of government to provide (and are often unforthcoming) in order to win support for their project.

If we examine these proposals, we see that they alter the entire landscape of the area and the existing trails will be affected. Trails will be turned into roads (completed with mandatory road signs and markings!) to accommodate the planned use of 200 vehicles. The character of South Lamma will be altered forever, and no hikers would show interest in what will become de facto a suburban area with convenience stores, cars, and so on.

There is no guarantee of additional public ferry services to “the area” – whether to Sok Kwu Wan, Mo Tat Wan or South Lamma. Existing ferry services are likely to decline as tourist trade falls away because of the construction.

    • Will the changes to the road / trail access be positive or negative? Why?

Lamma has no vehicles aside from vvs, small ambulances and fire engines. This characteristic makes the island special. The suggestion of vehicles and widening of trails demonstrates a total lack of sensitivity on the part of the developer and a complete lack of understanding of those things that make Lamma attractive to visitors and for the people who live here. The intention to introduce cars and roads runs counter to the planning intention for Lamma which states that the car-free environment should be preserved. The effect will be overwhelmingly negative.

    • Will the changes to the ferry services be positive/negative? Why?

The additional public ferry service was promised to Lamma 1, but has yet to materialise. Even with this promise, they have been unable to attract anyone to the development on the north side of Lamma. Why is there an assumption in this question that it will happen?

Services
    • The project will include shops/services (eg grocery shops, supermarket, clinic). Would local people use these services?
    • Would this be positive/negative?
    • Will people from Yung Shue Wan hike 2 hours to visit Baroque plaza? No. Will people in Sok Kwu Wan hike for 45 minutes to pick up supplies? Unlikely. Perhaps they will jump in their cars to pick up supplies (or will car ownership only be allowable for Baroque residents)? Perhaps people living in Aberdeen will prefer to shop at the Baroque rather than in their well-stocked local supermarket and wet market? Also unlikely. There are very few people living in South Lamma itself. Many of those like to grow their own vegetables.

Again this question shows a total lack of understanding about Lamma and its environs. Is it the intention of the Baroque to open new shops and services that that will draw trade away from existing businesses?

    • The project will include improved ferry access to Hong Kong Island and with it access to services (eg shops, healthcare). How would this affect local people?

Will improved ferry access be provided? Living Lamma members do not believe so. Will people in Sok Kwu Wan hike 45 minutes to take a ferry, when they are adequately served already? How many people are required to ensure a viable ferry service? What guarantees are there that government will issue a license?

This question has already been asked and answered above – what is the purpose in repeating it?

    • Will local people be interested in the training opportunities offered at the sailing academy?

Again the question asks about “local people” – who are we talking about? The few families and elderly people living in Tung O? The small community of indigenous people, non-indigenous Chinese and expats living in Mo Tat Wan, or other Lamma people? What training opportunities? Living Lamma members do not believe there will be any in the same way that we do not believe that this project will have eco-benefits.

This question is irrelevant without pricing, unless it is to be considered a “sweetener.” There are a number of other (more convenient and much safer) locations in Hong Kong where people can learn to sail. While it is true that there is a lack of berths in Hong Kong, we believe there are more suitable locations, accessible by road, that would not result in the destruction of conservation areas.

Social-cultural and Health
    • Will there be an effect on the community structure in terms of cohesion, severance, etc? (eg could indigenous people be encouraged to move back to the area, or would people living here move away?)

The project would set a precedent for development that would dramatically affect Lamma. It is likely that those people who live on Lamma and love it for all the qualities that it has now, will move away or live unhappily. There are plenty of examples around Hong Kong – do we need another Discovery Bay, Park Island, Gold Coast, or Sea Ranch? One of Lamma’s existing strengths is its community. It is hard to see how Kin Wong and Agile can improve on this strength.

The target market for this project is clearly not the people of Sok Kwu Wan or even Lamma. Therefore, it will only discourage people from returning by changing a once beautiful area beyond recognition. At the same time, it will force out those who do not fit into the new character of the area.

    • The project will bring new people to the area. Will this affect the existing local community organisation structures (eg committees, governance)?

Is this the intention? Taking Yung Shue Wan as an example, there has been a significant inflow of people from all different nationalities, yet no attempt has been made to take over local community structures. Will a “Baroque Residents’ Association” in time replace the Rural Committee? It is hoped that BoL would have more respect for local authority and customs, though it is possible that after causing disruption to South Lamma that could drive out local businesses and residents, there may be a need to revise local community structures.

    • Could the new development cause conflicts between old residents and new ones?

It already has. It is a great shame that the local indigenous people were not offered any viable alternative to Kin Wong’s offer to buy their land, one that would preserve their way of life and promote the area as an eco-destination without turning it into a housing estate. Kin Wong has also been seen to be buying support through hosting a dinner for 300 people, complete with TV stars and high-value door prizes. Consequently the Rural Committees are in favour of the project, while most other residents, on Lamma and throughout Hong Kong, are not. Some within the community blame those locals who have “sold out” to the developer. Living Lamma does not and will continue to look for alternative solutions that can provide not just short-term gain, but also sustainable benefits to the local community.

    • The influx of residents, tourists and hotels will be accompanied by increased security services. How do you think the development will affect crime and public safety?

Again this question presents the project as a fait accompli and demonstrates a complete lack of sensitivity to the existing way of life on Lamma. Do BoL’s proposals provide private security for the support population and the surrounding area, or will local police have to take on that burden?

    • Will there be an impact on the sense of place (eg changes of current undisturbed environment, loss of village characteristics, influx of newcomers)?

Yes, there will be an overwhelming negative impact in the sense of place should the land be rezoned for development as the currently undisturbed environment will be destroyed. There will also be an irreplaceable loss of village characteristics. As for newcomers, it is difficult to predict. After more than 10 years in development, there have been no newcomers to Lamma 1.

    • Will there be an impact on local cultural heritage (eg graves, ancestry halls)?

There will very likely be an impact on local cultural heritage and on feng shui if a large area of South Lamma becomes a construction site, but again this question assumes the project will go ahead and that the Town Planning Board will grant the developer’s request to turn land that is zoned as conservation, coastal protection and agriculture into land that is zoned for development. Living Lamma members sincerely hope that this will not happen.

  1. Previously also called “Lammarina” and Lamma Garden