Formal objection to the proposed development of South Lamma by Baroque on Lamma
Town Planning Board
15th Floor, North Point Government Offices
333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong
23rd May 2011
Re: Objection to Development Proposal in Application No. Y/I-LI/1
To whom it may concern:
We are writing to oppose the application (No. Y/I-LI-1) to rezone Agriculture, Conservation, and Coastal Protection areas as Comprehensive Development Area at Tung O Lamma Island and to incorporate the seafloor at Tung O Wan into the Outline Zoning Plan as Comprehensive Development Area.
Living Lamma is strongly opposed to this project for the following reasons:
- The plan contradicts the Planning Department’s statement on South Lamma, which Living Lamma strongly supports:
“The natural coastline, vegetated areas, conservation areas and sites of archaeological and historical interests would be conserved as far as possible particularly in South Lamma.”
“Our plans also acknowledge the importance of protecting the coastal waters of …. South Lamma as marine parks/reserves, with a view to preserving the ecologically sensitive habitats for important species of flora and fauna for both conservation and educational purpose.” (Planning Department’s website)
- The identification of the coastal waters off South Lamma as “potential Marine Parks/Reserves” is repeated on the EPD’s website. Though it is further noted that these waters may be used for sustainable water-based recreation activities, we do not believe that the current plan under discussion would be appropriate in either scale or scope. It would, in fact, destroy existing landscape and ecological value, while creating an operation, which will only add to Hong Kong’s environmental problems.
- The plans submitted by BoL Limited to the Town Planning Board include 900 flats, a hotel, a 500-berth marina, 30,000 square feet of commercial space and 135 private car parking spaces, 20 coach parking spaces, 6 lorry parking spaces, 2 maintenance vehicle parking spaces, 3 staff parking spaces and 2 guest parking spaces. We do not believe the environmental and landscape impact of this development can be “mitigated” to an acceptable level. South Lamma’s ecological and landscape is too valuable to be developed in this way.
- The company attempts to “greenwash” its presentation by inserting pictures of Portofino in Italy and elsewhere, which have nothing to do with the developer. Computer generated photographs and pictures of other places also dominate the company’s website. We would urge government to look closely at the company’s track record of development for evidence of environmental friendliness and sustainability. We believe the developer has no proven ability in designing and implementing environmentally sensitive projects.
- Lamma residents have lived with another of the company’s developments on the north side of Lamma. This has been more than 10 years in development and can be viewed as a failed attempt to create luxury housing on Lamma. These properties are lacking in environmentally friendly features. In addition, during the last 10 years, residents have witnessed the dumping of construction materials, workers lunch boxes and other rubbish on the neighbouring beach.
- The value of South Lamma as a natural resource for Hong Kong residents and visitors far outweighs the benefits that this project claims to bring. South Lamma is well-known for it animal and birdlife that inhabit the vegetation there. Though the company claims that it will not impact on sensitive ecology, the scale of the project leaves no doubt that neighbouring habitats will be affected by its construction and operation. Public enjoyment of this natural area should not be diminished for the private profit of a single developer.
Living Lamma promotes environmental improvement and sustainable development on Lamma Island. Our group currently has more than 300 members and many more supporters in the community. Should you require any further information, please call 90423241 (Secretary, Jo Wilson).
Dr. Laura Ruggeri