LanDAC: Develop Lantau, but conserve the airport and Macau bridge

In its final work report LanDAC, the government’s Lantau advisory committee, urges stronger conservation protection, but proposes new road and rail links through a country park and affirms support for the massive East Lantau Metropolis (ELM) plan.

The committee offers no support for protecting the island’s threatened wetlands, its buffalo and cattle herds or the shrinking Chinese white dolphin population. Incredibly, however, among those items it does regard as worthy of conservation are the airport, Ngong Ping 360 and the yet-to-be-completed Hong Kong-Macau Bridge. These are significant for “landscape conservation,” the report says.

DSC_0456 - Copy

Heritage item

The full report, available only in Chinese (English summary here), said major developments at sites of conservation value should be “avoided as much as possible” but does not specify what protections should be adopted.

As expected, the committee endorses the ELM, the plan for a gigantic reclamation project in the waters between Lantau and Hong Kong island to support future commercial offices, retail and high-rise. The report says by reclaiming land around Kau Yi Chau and Hei Ling Chau islands the ELM can host 400,000 to 700,000 people.


ELM central: Kau Yi Chau

To accompany the ELM, which won’t take place until after 2030, it calls for direct road and rail links from Lantau’s north coast to Mui Wo and then through the ELM to Central. Those links would have to pass through the Lantau North Country Park. The Highways Dept studied the idea of a tunnel through the park to Mui Wo in the late 1990s but rejected it on cost and difficulty grounds.

The report calls for “making good use” of abandoned agricultural land and fish ponds at Mui Wo and to “promote urban and rural communion, strengthen the leisure and travel elements, develop its tourist potential.”

The report, which mostly reaffirms the proposals it has put forward over the past two years, says Lantau’s transport facilities lag behind and should be a priority consideration.

One proposal missing is that of a coastal road from Tung Chung to Tai O and Fan Lau, which had been strongly opposed by conservationists.

LanDAC does not propose any other major roadworks, but  does suggest installing ferry piers at Cheung Sha, Tong Fuk, Shui Hau, Fan Lau and Sunny Bay – but it does not say whether these are for tourist vessels or regular services.

In Mui Wo, it calls for “making good use” of abandoned agricultural land and fish ponds and to “promote urban and rural communion, strengthen leisure and travel elements and develop its tourist potential.”

10 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Lantau’s transport future: Back to the boat? | Lantau Confidential
  2. Development plans will ‘destroy’ Lantau, green groups warn | Lantau Confidential
  3. Expert casts doubt on case for East Lantau Metropolis | Lantau Confidential
  4. Let’s build in Lantau country parks, say rural committees | Lantau Confidential
  5. Keep Lantau green – but we need ELM: think tank | Lantau Confidential
  6. Lantau residents, NGOs seethe over stacked consultation | Lantau Confidential
  7. Road wars: Lantau closed road must go, says Randy Yu – Lantau News
  8. Lantau blueprint scraps worst ideas, talks up conservation, upholds ELM – Lantau News
  9. Lantau blueprint is just another sly sales pitch for East Lantau Metropolis – Lantau News
  10. S. Lantau Marine Park will aid dolphins, says WWF – Lantau News

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: