The Lantau Development Advisory Committee (LanDAC), the government’s Lantau advisory committee, has thrown its support behind large-scale land reclamation on Lantau in its recently released first-term work report.
The report, which has been the cause of much discussion amongst Lantau residents, endorses the East Lantau Metropolis (ELM).
The ELM, which is slated for development after 2030, would involve reclaiming land around Kau Yi Chau and Hei Ling Chau islands. Packed with commercial and residential high-rises, it would cater to up to 700,000 people and feature on an MTR line linking Lantau’s north coast with Mui Wo and Central. It is likely the MTR line would have to pass through the North Lantau Country Park. Conservation plans are only mentioned in passing in the report, and no mention is made about protecting Lantau’s threatened wetlands, its buffalo and cattle herds, or the shrinking Chinese White Dolphin population.
Lawmaker Albert Chan is a fierce critic of the proposals, and he made his thoughts heard during CY Leung’s 2016 Policy Address on January 13, at which the LanDAC report was presented. “I am a Lantau resident. Do you know what Lantau is? You are shameless. Don’t you dare touch Lantau.”
The 33-page report proposes splitting Lantau into the following four major development areas. Northern Lantau: near Tung Chung and the airport, focusing on economic and housing development. Western Lantau: around Sunny Bay, expanding Hong Kong Disneyland and creating extra leisure facilities, such as indoor surfing and skydiving. South Lantau: developing tourism oppurtinities, particularly in Mui Wo, Tai O and the Tung Chung River Valley. East Lantau: creating the ELM by reclaiming land.
Turn to page 29 for the founding chairman of Lantau Development Alliance (LaDA) Allen Ha’s thoughts on the LanDAC report – and to learn about the on-going public consultation campaign.
Image: Typhoonchaser, courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org