Government responds to DB golf cart parking protest
- Written by arounddb, 22 March 2016
District Councillor Amy Yung previously filed a complaint on behalf of Discovery Bay community members protesting the planned construction of a golf cart parking lot on the lawn area by the DB Recreation Club, adjacent to the tennis courts.
Work is scheduled to begin on March 24.
Ms. Yung addressed her complaint to Donna Tam Yiu-ping, District Planning Officer of the Sai Kung & Islands District Planning Department, and Denis Li Kin-nga, District Lands Officer of the Islands District. It reads:
Dear Ms. Tam & Mr. Li,
Re: Unauthorized Change of Land Use at Discovery Bay Recreation Club
I am writing to file a complaint against Hong Kong Resort Company Limited (HKR) for acting in violation of the Outline Zoning Plan No. S/I-DB/4 (OZP) and the latest approved Master Layout Plan No. 6.01E (MLP).
HKR posted a notice on the noticeboard of the Discovery Bay Recreation Club on 11 March, 2016, advising members that the “lawn area adjacent to the Discovery Bay Recreation Club “ will be resumed by HKR on 24 March, 2016. Please refer to the attached notice.
It has further been learned that HKR plans to convert this area into a general vehicle parking area. The area concerned lies within the land zoned for Sports and Recreation Club use on the OZP, and for Residents Club on the MLP. I understand that Vehicle Parking Area is not an approved use under either the MLP or the OZP. While Planning and Lands Departments may show some discretion to allow parking for visitors to the Club, a stand-alone car park for general use, unassociated with the Club, is clearly contrary to the land use and planning requirements.
Discovery Bay residents have organised a petition and over the last weekend hundreds of signatures have been collected to object to HKR’s plan. Please refer to the following hyperlink for details:
I would be grateful if you follow up immediately to seek an explanation from the developer, pending full consultation under the statutory process.
She also sent a set of photographs for reference, as seen on her website.
A reply came from Richard Siu of the Sai Kung and Islands Planning Department. He writes:
Dear Ms. Yung,
Thank you for your emails dated 14.3.2016 and 17.3.2016 regarding the subject matter.
With the help of your photos, it is identified that the subject site (as indicated on the photos attached to your email of 17.3.2016) falls within an area zoned "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Sports and Recreation Club (1)" on the approved Discovery Bay Outline Zoning Planning (OZP) No. S/I-DB/4. According to the Notes of the OZP, "Golf Cart Parking" is neither a Column 1 nor Column 2 use while "Private Club" (the current use) is a Column 1 use which is always permitted. The covering Notes of the OZP also stipulates that all building, engineering and other operations incidental to and all uses directly related and ancillary to the permitted uses and developments within the same zone(s) are always permitted. So far, no planning application for "Golf Cart Parking" use at the subject site has been received.
We shall continue to monitor the subject site. Should any development at the subject site be found contravening the requirements of the OZP, appropriate action would be taken by relevant government authorities. In the meantime, we shall write to the Hong Kong Resort Company Ltd. drawing their attention to relevant requirements in the OZP. Thank you for bringing up the matter to our attention.
for District Planning Officer/SKIs
Following the response, Mr. Siu contacted the HKR regarding the complaint, warning against any illicit development of the lawn. This letter can also be found online in Ms Yung's updated bulletin.
Concerned residents, led by the DB Tennis Committee staged a protest last Sunday, March 20th, opposing the construction. DB resident Richard Beck presented the petition with over 1000 signatures to a representative of HKR.
Bay Media has thus far received no official statement in response from HKR.
Watch out for our DB Development Update on the upcoming April 2016 issue of Around DB.