Over the past few months a number of proposals for building small houses in the village of Yung Shue O, in the Sai Kung West Country Park, fronting on to Three Fathoms Cove, have been presented to the Town Planning Board. All were for the usual 2100 sq ft, 3 storey houses we have come to love and hate. All three applications were for government land in the Green Belt zone, as indicated on the Outline Zoning Plan for the enclave – see below.
The three applications were amongst five this year, all but one in the Green Belt. The one in the V zone has been approved. At its meeting on 25 August the Rural and New Territories Planning Committee of the Town Planning Board rejected the applications on the grounds that there was enough space within the V zone for additional houses and that the Green Belt should only be built on in exceptional circumstances.
The reasons for each of the applications were the same:
“(a) the proposed development is not in line with the planning intention of the “Green Belt” (“GB”) zone, which is primarily for defining the limits of urban and suburban development areas by natural features and to contain urban sprawl as well as to provide passive recreational outlets. There is a general presumption against development within this zone. There is no strong planning justification in the submission for a departure from the planning intention of the “GB” zone;
(b) the application does not comply with the Interim Criteria for Consideration of Application for New Territories Exempted House/Small House in New Territories in that the proposed development would cause adverse landscape impact on the surrounding area;
(c) the application does not comply with the Town Planning Board Guidelines No. 10 for Application for Development within “GB” zone under section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance in that the proposed development would involve clearance of existing natural vegetation, affect the existing natural landscape and overstrain the
capacity of existing sewerage infrastructure;
(d) land is still available within the “Village Type Development” (“V”) zone of Yung Shue O Village which is primarily intended for Small House development. It is considered more appropriate to concentrate the proposed”