Grannie Green Revivial

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Chp 59, Deep Bay fish ponds – Forty years champion for the environment

Deep Bay fish ponds

As early as 1994 CA wrote to the Town Planning Board to object to the destruction of fish ponds on the draft Nam Sang Wai Outline Zoning Plan and the draft Mai Po Outline Zoning Plan. CA’s objection was to the Recreation zoning which allowed development of houses, flats, hotels, amusement park and retail shop the in Deep Bay Buffer Zone II. While supporting some passive recreation, CA objected to the development-prone uses and proposed to have those uses deleted from the notes of the OZP. CA also proposed a portion of the Nam Sang Wai OZP north of Kam Tin River to be rezoned Conservation Area from Recreation, as they were fish ponds contiguous to existing Conservation Areas.

In October 1995, CA objected to a rezoning request submitted by New World Development to change the zoning of the fish ponds in Wing Kee Tsuen near Mai Po from Recreation to Residential uses, which would enable 470 low-density houses to be built on 31 hectares of fish ponds in the Buffer Zone. CA proposed to have the Recreation zone retained but deleting the “house” use from the notes of the OZP.

Consideration of these plans were deferred a number of years due to the court cases over the Nam Sang Wai fish ponds. On 7 May 1999, the Town Planning Board proceeded to give preliminary consideration to the objections. The Board decided to partially uphold CA’s objection by rezoning the fishponds near Wing Kei Tsuen and those to the west of Yau Mei San Tsuen from “Recreation” to “Conservation Area”. This would conserve the existing fish ponds which TPB acknowledged “formed part of the continuous and contiguous fish pond system.” (letter to CA, 21 May 1999). The Board also agreed to rezone the area in the eastern part of Tai Sang Wai and those in the vicinity of Wing Kei Tsuen from “Recreation” and “Residential (Group D)” to “Other Specified Use annotated Comprehensive Development to include Wetland Restoration Area” to encourage removal of existing open storage and container related uses and provide incentive to restore some of the filled fish ponds.

That was some victory for CA, but a complication arose the following year. In March 2000 the Town Planning Board intended to rezone part of the Recreation zone to “Other Specified Use annotated Comprehensive Development and Wetland Protection Area” to meet another objection. As part of the land overlapped with the Conservation Area zone originally agreed with CA, agreement had to be sought from CA to the further amendment. CA replied on 19 May with no objection provided that the conservation objective was not undermined, and suggesting that an independent Wetland Trust should be set up to manage the CDWPA areas.

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June 5, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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