Herve Bouvresse, the kick-boxing Long Keng village representative, has discovered plans for a development near his village valued at $1.5 billion.
Men with mechanical diggers are at work daily clearing the site. It is off Sai Sha Road between Long Keng and the stream that runs through O Tau valley.
The developers have been trying to entice investors into the project. Herve found a way to pounce on their plans. They show $590 million of investment in buying up plots of land plus house construction and other costs with projected sales of $1.5 billion, leaving a profit for investors of $909 million. If the houses are to be sold at an average of, say, $25 million, 60 houses will have to be built.
Now O Tau has 14 houses and Long Keng eight.
Herve, a 26-year Sai Kung resident, is the Long Keng representative on the Sai Kung Rural Committee. He is also a savateur, a practitioner of French savate kickboxing. Herve says he has fought these developers with fellow environmentalists every step of the way.
“At first they tried to get road access to the site from the Long Keng carpark. We stopped that. Then they tried to open up a road from new Long Keng. We stopped that. Next it was O Tau. They built a bridge on government land across the stream. We stopped that too.”
Herve said he and fellow activists have objected to everything the developers have attempted. Before the workers moved in with their diggers it was a lovely area of bush and wetlands. They forced O Tau’s Burmese python, Monty, out of his habitat. Monty tried to cross the road and was killed.
The developers have attempted varying tactics to see off the opposition to their $1.5 billion project. But Herve, a hyper-active colourful character, won’t budge.
Nevertheless, the Long Keng representative may not win. House construction has started with steel reinforcing going up. The site is guarded by two sad underfed mutts and high fencing papered with various approvals by the Government to go ahead.