The Town Planning Board yesterday denied Hong Kong Resort Company Limited’s request to rezone Area 6f from staff housing to residential development.
In its presentation, Planning Department followed the script contained in the paper that it had prepared for the meeting. It highlighted that Discovery Bay was intended as a low-density residential development and leisure resort, and that HKR had not provided sufficient justification to proceed with the development, especially as HKR still had over 120,000 sq.m. of undeveloped gross floor area in DB North. Ad hoc approval of an individual proposal would create an undesirable precedent, the Department argued.
In response, HKR’s representatives came out swinging. At times hurt, claiming that Planning Department had moved the goalposts; at times combative, claiming that Lands Department was taking far too long to approve its requests; and at times playing fast and loose with the truth, HKR argued strongly that the government departments had all signed off on the proposal, that the development would have no impact on the existing resort atmosphere in DB, and that the two blocks would provide middle-class housing at Yuen Long prices. “Discovery Bay is not a luxury development,” they emphasised.
In the end, HKR’s last-minute appeal (the representatives circulated a private information bundle to members at the meeting, thumbing their noses at the public consultation process) came to naught. Late last night, the TPB posted “Not Agreed” on its website.
The minutes of the meeting should be available in about two weeks.
Note: The minutes are available here.
In a paper prepared for the Town Planning Board meeting on 23 June, Planning Department advised members that it does not support Hong Kong Resort’s (HKR) application to develop Area 6f. The Department gave the following reasons:
Based on the assessment made in paragraph 11 and having taken into account the public comments mentioned in paragraph 10, the Planning Department does not support the application for the following reasons:
(a) there is scope for further residential development under the current OZP as the total maximum domestic gross floor area allowed has yet to be realised. No strong justification has been provided by the applicant for rezoning the Site for residential use; and
(b) approval of the application would set an undesirable precedent for other similar rezoning applications, the accumulative impact of which would further depart from the original development concept of Discovery Bay and overstrain the existing and planned infrastructure capacities for Discovery Bay area.
Download the full paper by clicking on this link.
The Town Planning Board will consider the submission by HKR and the advice of Planning Department at its meeting on 23 June, and make a final decision on the application.
The missing documents have now been released. The latest documents, and the TPB’s treatment of these documents, underline how misleading it is to quote for/against statistics.
In the “support the development” camp we have Mr. Chan, who submitted one email with three documents, all with the same comments, two in English and one in Chinese. He was counted three times, 5899 to 5901. We also have Mr. Samuel Ip (5915), Mr. Sam (5918) and Mr. Samuel (5919), all with the exact same comment. And Mr. Wong Hong Chong (6144), Mr. HC Wong (6145) and Mr. Galen Wong (6146). Again, all submissions are recorded as individual submissions.
Yet, in the “oppose the development” camp we have many instances where separate submissions with different subjects submitted by a single person are bundled together under one number. See, for example, 6129, 6130, 6131, 6132, 6133, 6134, 6155, 6158 and 6159.
5888 to 5948
6119 to 6173