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.