In early 2016, concerns were raised about illegal dumping and unauthorized development on private land near Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai. The Planning Department issued nine Reinstatement Notices, requiring removal of the fill materials, or hard-paving and grass on the concerned land. Nevertheless, two years later, the land is a golf course and barbeque site.
Chiu Yan-loy, Community Officer of Labour Party, illustrates this site consists of two parts: one part is private land, the other is government land. Actually, when we looked at the cases that the government has pursued, they are prosecuting the land owners’ illegal dumping and occupation of government land. But they haven’t addressed the landfilling activities on private land, and there has been no law enforcement.
The Planning Department said the area had already been used as open storage for sand since it was gazette in 1993. Storage for sand was regarded as “existing use” and did not constitute unauthorized development. Not only that, the land is part of a “recreation zone”, so the golf driving range and barbecue area are permitted under “Place of Recreation, Sports or Culture” use. The Environmental Protection Department says it sees no violation of pollution control ordinances in the construction and operation of the facilities. For the Lands Department, the developemtn of these facilities does not breach the conditions of the Block Government Lease.
It is obvious that different government departments only work in their own jurisdictions. In addition, there is no tough regulation to deter illegal dumping.
(Broadcasted by RTHK31 “The Pulse” on 21 April 2018)