For the purpose of incorporating the country park enclaves of Tai Long Sai Wan (Sai Wan), Kam Shan and Yuen Tun into their respective country parks, upon the depositing of the approved maps of Sai Kung East Country Park, Kam Shan Country Park and Tai Lam Country Park in the Land Registry, a designation order shall be made under the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap 208).
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (July 17) that the incorporation of these enclaves into their respective country parks would improve the management of the sites, enhance their overall conservation and landscape value, and increase their amenities for public enjoyment.
Unauthorised excavation works were detected on both private land and government land of the country park enclave of Sai Wan in 2010, which triggered increasing public concern over the protection of country park enclaves. To follow up on the incident, the Government undertook to either include the enclaves in country parks, or to determine their proper uses through statutory planning to meet conservation and social development needs.
After an assessment based on the principles and criteria for designating country parks, the first batch of three country park enclaves at Sai Wan, Kam Shan and Yuen Tun were identified to be better protected by inclusion into country parks. With the support from the Country and Marine Parks Board (CMPB) on the assessments with regard to the incorporation of the three country park enclaves into country parks, the Country and Marine Parks Authority initiated the statutory procedures under the Country Parks Ordinance and prepared the draft maps of the three country parks. The draft maps were made available for public inspection for a period of 60 days from October 26 to December 24, 2012.
During the period of public inspection, the Authority received nine objections against the draft map of Sai Kung East Country Park and one against the draft map of Tai Lam Country Park but none against the draft map of Kam Shan Country Park. Apart from receiving the objections, the Authority also received more than 3 200 emails supporting the incorporation of Sai Wan into Sai Kung East Country Park and individual emails supporting the incorporation of the remaining two enclaves into the respective country parks.
The hearing of objections to the draft maps by the CMPB took place on February 7 and 8 this year. After careful deliberation of all written objections, the opinions of those attending the hearing, the respective representations of the Authority and the Authority's comments at the hearing, the Board unanimously rejected all objections to the two draft maps. The Chief Executive in Council approved the three draft maps on May 7. The new approved maps were deposited in the Land Registry on May 16.
The designation order in respect of the new approved maps of Sai Kung East Country Park, Kam Shan Country Park and Tai Lam Country Park will be gazetted on October 11 and will be tabled at the Legislative Council on October 16 for negative vetting procedures. It is expected that it will commence on December 30 so as to allow enough time for the Legislative Council to study the designation order.