The tree that stands proud as the centrepiece of O Tau may be safe, but then again it may not – see our previous story. The District Lands Office (DLO) has sent staff to check the site, prodded by the relentless Guy Shirra, and confirmed it is on government land. Developers have had some branches lopped off.
Shirley Tse of the DLO said a warning letter has been sent to the land owners who plan to build two houses. The letter said approval must be obtained if the tree is to be pruned or felled. Shirley said the Buildings Department, which approved site formation work, and AFCD, which handles unauthorised tree trimming, have been alerted.
The tree is close to a house criminally damaged in a Triad-like attack this month. Red liquid was splashed over the house and windows smashed. This frightened members of an innocent family. Chief Inspector Daniel Tsang said the attack was unusual for Sai Kung, the matter was serious and Kowloon East HQ detectives are investigating. The police chief said it was being treated as a money or land dispute.
O Tau residents have been told by a senior of the local land-owning family that they sold the land some time ago for “14 hundred thousand” and now want “13 hundred thousand” from the developers for use of the road on private land and the right to open the electric gate. The house attacked belongs to the same family.