Development plans will ‘destroy’ Lantau, green groups warn

A group of environmental and social justice organizations say the sweeping development plans for Lantau violate the vision of earlier governments and will destroy the island’s character. In a letter to be sent to Chief Executive CY Leung and other officials, they say the proposals in the LanDAC report “will destroy the rural and culture character, the local economy, the natural landscape and the habitats of Lantau.” The say the advisory committee's report ignores the existing 2007 Lantau Concept Plan, which stipulates that large-scale tourism and infrastructure projects should be avoided.

Signatories to the letter, initiated by the Save Lantau Alliance, include Greenpeace, the Civic Party, the Labour Party and local groups such as Living Island Movement and Green Lantau Association.

They describe the secretive LanDAC process as a “black-box operation,”  – with a number of members conflicted by investments in Lantau – conducted without any public consultation.

CY Leung said in his recent policy address that the government would launch a public consultation in the first half of the year, after which a blueprint would be issued.

The letter says:

The speed and determination in pushing the Lantau development plans is unprecedented. The community will be forced to simply accept this plan and ‘barter public resources away.’

It adds:

The CY Leung government and LanDAC did not study the environmental carrying capacity or conduct baseline surveys. Instead, they abandoned all the previous principles and decided to open-up the South Lantau Road despite public objections, and to concrete over valuable natural scenic assets of Lantau, including Sunset Peak, Tai O, Mui Wo, Shui Hau and Pui O.

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