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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:18 pm 
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So many people fought so hard for so long to try to protect the watercourse in the Yung Shue Long Valley. Well, now someone is putting in a pad for a house (I presume) and has put 3 large sections of concrete sewer pipe into the stream course and is in the process of burying them. It almost appears as if this fill will continue across to the Lily Pond. I find these developments most distressing - does anyone know who's behind this? Do they have the right and or the permission to cover over a stream course? Isn't there some protection for streams and rivers? What government department has given permission for this after the huge fight over the drainage ditch?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:01 am 
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Destroying our watercourses must be stopped!
<a href="http://www.ouhk.edu.hk/WCM/?FUELAP_TEMPLATENAME=tcGenericPage&ITEMID=CC_OPENLINK_45216745&BODY=tcGenericPage">Concreting ecologically valuable watercourses must be stopped</a>

<a href="http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr03-04/english/panels/ea/papers/eaplw0223cb1-1035-3-e.pdf">A CALL TO ACTION ON THE PROTECTION OF HONG KONG RIVERS AND STREAMS</a>

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:39 am 
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Step 1: Dig channel and concrete banks
Step 2: Dump construction waste and destroy habitat
Step 3: Mongkok.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:33 am 
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I have called the EPD to make an inquiry / complaint. They are following up on it - reference # 6477-09

Environmental Protection Department Address : Community Relations Unit,
10/F., Citibank Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong
complaints: 2838-3111
Tel : 2519 9173
Fax : 2827 8138
Web site : http://www.info.gov.hk/epd

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:47 am 
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I am aware of what is going on, as i see the valley from my window.
Yesterday i posted a thread in the Lamma forum, about the same issue. They started dumping construction waste last Monday.

But i began to be concerned about the future of the valley when they concreted the banks of the stream.

I suspect that someone had a vested interest in pushing for drainage work in the valley, because flooding was never severe enough to justify the
government intervention. Raising the footpath would have been enough.
Of course, if the same someone intends to build houses in the flood plain, he would want to make sure that the stream is "under control".

I smell a rat. I suspect that when the old farmer passes away, the same someone will take over the agricultural land and start building.

It's a real pity, because streams are vital for the ecosystem, and we certainly don't need more houses in an aerea that serves a very important purpose as a
flood plain. Not to mention that those houses will not be in a safe position...Greed is blind.

Well done, Tavis,
I will also lodge a complain with the department. Let's see if they investigate the matter.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:47 am 
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Hi Tavis,

i had a similar issue with a stream that runs by my house - for years it was a clean fast moving stream intil the owner of the land next door decided to fill in the part that runs through his land and replace it with a pipe.

Unfortunately the workmen who put in the pipe did not seem to understand that water flows down hill and the pipe rises up instead of down - now the the stream has little to no flow and is filling with debris and algae/weeds.

Reported to the lands department and EPD and the drainage department - they came - took pictures etc then stated that as the land was private there was nothing they could do - sounds like a bit of a cop out on their part.

You may find its the same case here, but if not do let me know as I would like to have something done about the swampy conditions now developing by my house.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:32 pm 
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I think you should also contact the Islands Division of Lands Department. They have officers who will also investigate such complaints.

They have an office in the Harbour Building near the Central ferry pier. You should be able to go and look at the Land Status Plan to determine if the land has been assigned to or leased by anyone.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:32 am 
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somebody told me that this is a piece of private land, the landlord can do whatever he likes. According to the Lamma Island Outline Zoning Plan, that this land is classified as "Agricultural use", by definition of the usage, i don't think that dumping is allowed.
"Agricultural Use
Means any land used for the growing of crops and plants, and rearing of animals and fish including horticulture, aquaculture, fruit growing, seed growing, market gardens, nursery grounds, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of poultry and livestock, grazing land, meadow land, fish ponds and paddy fields.
It includes any structure or premises ancillary to and directly connected with the agricultural activities, such as cowshed, green house and structure for the storage of machinery, tools, carts, trolleys, seeds and fertilizers; but excludes any structure or premises for domestic purposes.
It also includes fish pond culture and the use of land for growing shrubs or trees where that use is ancillary to the predominant arable, pastoral or fish farming use, but excludes hobby farming and fishing ground which are regarded as some types of 'Place of Recreation, Sports or Culture'.
For cultivation, soil may be deposited or placed on land. The thickness of such deposition or placement of soil shall not exceed 1.2 metres above the original ground level."

i found a.m. information from below links:
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2007 ... 150109.htm
http://www.info.gov.hk/tpb/en/forms/dot ... ricultural
http://www.ozp.tpb.gov.hk/default.aspx

the 2nd one can link to a "map viewer", after searching, S/I-LI/9-Lamma Island can be found.
let's write complaint letters.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:05 am 
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Espresso wrote:
somebody told me that this is a piece of private land, the landlord can do whatever he likes.

There is no such thing as "private land" in Hong Kong. It's all leased from the government and usually for specific purposes.

The problem is that the government seems afraid to challenge such abuses and often fails to enforce this.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:04 pm 
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espresso ,
thanks for the links.
Obviously the owner is not using his lot for agricultural purposes.
What we see, once again, is the deliberate spoiling of the land's agricultural potential, so that it can be downgraded by some town planning stooge and its terms of use changed.

This is what villagers and developers have been doing for years in the New Territories.
The government inaction is criminal. If the terms of use are not respected, certainly the owner should be fined and forced to restore the land to its previous conditions. But strangely enough, owners get away with it while government departments refuse to take responsibility.

I wonder what would happen if we lodged a complaint with the Police. They should at least investigate the illegal dumping of construction waste, and inform the relevant departments.

For those who are interested in taking their grievances to the Lands Department ( i will go there on Monday)
Here is the address and phone number for the Islands district.

19th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong
2852 4265


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:15 pm 
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OK, finally got a bit more info from my sources:

Yes, most of the Yung Shue Long valley is leased as "private land", I've had a quick glance at the quite long list of the owners of various parts of the valley. Supposedly, they can do whatever they like on that land, but it has to follow the zoning use, mostly agricultural only. Which means they can't build a house without permission, but filling in a Lily Pond or a stream might well be permitted by "agricultural use".

I always assumed that the dumping of construction waste there was intended as the foundation of some kind of structure, but that's not confirmed yet, even though I think it still likely. The Lands Dept would have a record of an application to build a Village House, approved or still pending. As it often happens, they might start the foundation and building before the application has been approved as it usually takes years.

But if they're building a "structure for the storage of machinery, tools, carts, trolleys, seeds and fertilizers", then no permission would be needed at all, I think. Which means, if it's not used as residential flats they could build almost anything they like there.

Going through local, official channels I got nowhere so far. "We don't know, we don't care, we won't tell, not our business because it's 'private land'", were the replies I got. They're still unhappy that the permission to build their planned "Lamma Grand Prix" ring road through the Yung Shue Long valley was finally declined by the govt. less than 2 years ago, after the local powers-that-be tried once more to get it built.

Via usually well-informed, unofficial sources it looks like it might be the family behind Sau Kee Rest. owning that plot and filling in the area on the other side of the stream now, just behind the Lily Pond, having encroached very close to it now.

If somebody has got good connections in Sau Kee (IF it is really them behind this construction) they should follow up to get the full story and learn much more than the govt. depts. know already or want to know. Sau Kee might reply to friendly questions from a guest or a family friend. Simple, friendly, non-accusatory questions in Chinese, like "What are you building there?" and "Are you going to fill in the Lily Pond and the stream?", might get a reply.

What to do about it if you don't like the replies is another question altogether...

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:44 pm 
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Waaa! The idea that dumping a metre and a 1/2 of clay and construction rubble onto fertile agricultural land could be considered an acceptable agricultural usage leaves me utterly gobsmacked! :shock:

It's only a matter of time - I'm afraid the valley will fill with houses. Even if it's only a pad for storage of agricultural equipment now - surely eyes are looking to the future when permits will be obtained to change the zoning from agricultural to residential of commercial. And it won't be too difficult if they wait a year or so - they'll just be able to point at it and say "Why not? it's not really agricultural land - it's clay and rubble - nothing will grow there"

Anyway this is all speculation - we need to find out what permits have been applied for and / or granted. Foreign Body, hopefully you might get some info on that on Monday - in the meantime - let's get together?

I received a call from the EPD (Env. Prot. Dept.) and they let me know that they have received many complaints and are in the process of investigating.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:19 pm 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
Via usually well-informed, unofficial sources it looks like it might be the family behind Sau Kee Rest. owning that plot and filling in the area on the other side of the stream now, just behind the Lily Pond, having encroached very close to it now.

If somebody has got good connections in Sau Kee (IF it is really them behind this construction) they should follow up to get the full story and learn much more than the govt. depts. know already or want to know. Sau Kee might reply to friendly questions from a guest or a family friend. Simple, friendly, non-accusatory questions in Chinese, like "What are you building there?" and "Are you going to fill in the Lily Pond and the stream?", might get a reply.

What to do about it if you don't like the replies is another question altogether...


consumers have got quite amazing power when they're organised. And even if the pigeon is damned good and cheaper than in Hung Shing Yeh, it'd be an option worth considering!

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Last edited by Tavis on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:08 pm 
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There is now a Lands Dept. notice posted on the railing informing the owners (something to the effect) that their dumping has created 2 problems that they must rectify:
1) It has created potential mosquito breeding sites
2) a potential flooding problem
It states further that they must solve these problems or else the lands dept. office will take action against them.

I guess we can't expect the 'owners' to show up apologetically on Monday morning digging furiously to restore the site to its natural state. So it will probably require steady but friendly pressure on the Lands Dept. to follow through on enforcement.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
Simple, friendly, non-accusatory questions in Chinese, like "What are you building there?" and "Are you going to fill in the Lily Pond and the stream?", might get a reply.


No questions or reply are necessary.
It's exactly the right size for a standard 700 sq foot three-storey house, and much too big and deep for a simple one-storey farm storage building. There is no doubt what is going on.

But seeing as the Lands Department condones the illegal land use and construction by large restaurants in Main Street, (putting up notices and not enforcing them) I'd be amazed if they lifted a finger beyond posting up bits of paper, while the digging and filling goes on without a pause.

It will indeed take a lot of pressure to stop and more to reverse this.


Last edited by Alan on Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:23 am 
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On Friday I watched the kaden boys working on the sewage pipes outside the Fountain Head load up a vv with the waste, drive around the corner to this spot, dump it and bulldoze it over the edges to further increase this area.

Whoever is behind this has links to the big sewage project Surely the sewage project is meant to dispose of any waste caused legally (which this sounds like it may not be).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:05 am 
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farang_utang wrote:
Surely the sewage project is meant to dispose of any waste caused legally (which this sounds like it may not be).


Complaints to the Drainage Services Department would be in order, and more likely to get action than the somnolent Lands Department.

http://www.dsd.gov.hk/service_enquiries/our_contacts/index.htm
Drainage Complaints Hotlines (24 Hours): 2300 1110
General Enquiries : 2877 0660
Customer Services Enquiries (Sewage Services): 2834 9432
E-mail: enquiry@dsd.gov.hk

Sewerage Projects Division
44/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Chief Engineer : 2594 7500

Hong Kong and Islands Division
42/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Chief Engineer : 2594 7171
Complaints (24 hrs) 2300 1110


Last edited by Alan on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:33 am 
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The more I think about it, the more unlikely it seems to me to be that house building in the valley can be stopped. It's privately controlled land in the hands of wealthy and powerful Lamma intrests and there is an enormous amount of money to be made through its development.

I think it might be possible, however, to save the stream from being buried in a cement pipe. There is an increasing awareness here in Hong Kong, as can been seen in the earlier posted link from Open University of Hong Kongregarding the formerly unrecognised value of open, natural watercourses.

Perhaps, in addition to focussed resistance, we could organise an open forum discussion night with a few academics as guests where there could be free dialogue in Chinese and English about the value of riparian preservation?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:42 am 
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Plus police, plus Yue Lai Fan - let's inundate them with complaints and see what the reaction is

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:55 am 
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Several people and I have tried that already:

"We don't know, we don't care, not our business because it's 'private land.'"

Re: the sewage works waste from Main Street being dumped there:
Let's see what the local office of the engineering co. - Scott Wilson CDM Joint Venture who's supervising Kaden - has to say about that:

Hotline 2982 0125 or their office no. 2982 0240.

I hope we won't get "We don't know, we don't care, not our business." from them as well...

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