Draft Ma Tso Lung and Hoo Hok Wai Development Permission Area Plan approved

     The Chief Executive in Council has approved the draft Ma Tso Lung and Hoo Hok Wai Development Permission Area (DPA) Plan.

     "The approved DPA Plan will provide planning guidance and facilitate development control within the Ma Tso Lung and Hoo Hok Wai area during the period required for detailed analysis of the land use pattern, study of infrastructural provisions and examination of development options for the formulation of an outline zoning plan (OZP)," a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (March 2).

     The Planning Scheme Area, covering about 553 hectares, is bounded by the Sham Chun River in the north, Lo Wu Station and the Mass Transit Railway (East Rail Line) in the east, Fung Kong Shan in the south and Tai Law Hau in the west.  

     The general planning intention is to strengthen nature conservation, promote sustainable eco-tourism and cross-boundary development, retain good quality agricultural land for agricultural purposes or leisure farming and preserve the existing heritage features and historic buildings.

     In view of the ecological and conservation value of the fishponds in Hoo Hok Wai which form an integral part of the Deep Bay wetland ecosystem, the Hoo Hok Wai area, covering an area of about 246.32 hectares, stretching from the east of the Lok Ma Chau Loop to Liu Pok, is designated as "Unspecified Use" area in the interim pending preparation of an OZP.

     A total of 6.33 hectares of land is zoned "Village Type Development" to demarcate existing recognised villages and areas suitable for village expansion.

     About 6.87 hectares of land is zoned "Government, Institution or Community" to serve the needs of the local as well as the district population.

     The small knoll to the west of Tse Koo Hang with a total of 9.15 hectares of land is zoned "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Eco-lodge" to provide for sustainability-based tourism in the form of an eco-lodge for development of low-rise, low-density resort-type accommodation. The Lo Wu Firing Range is zoned "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Firing Range" and takes up 5.47 hectares of land.  

     About 38.42 hectares of land is zoned "Agriculture" to retain and safeguard good quality agricultural land, farms and fish ponds for agricultural purposes.

     A total of 217.75 hectares of land covering the woodland and densely vegetated hill slopes at Ma Tso Lung, Tai Shek Mo and Tse Koo Hang, as well as the permitted burial grounds for indigenous villagers, is zoned "Green Belt". There is a general presumption against development within the zone.

     About 10.81 hectares of land is zoned "Conservation Area" ("CA"). The Ho Sheung Heung Egretry together with its peripheral secondary woodland is zoned "CA" to protect and conserve the ecological value of the egretry and associated habitat, as well as to restrict further development in the immediate vicinity. In addition, several fish ponds located to the west of Ng Tung River are also zoned "CA" to reflect their preservation value.

     The approved Ma Tso Lung and Hoo Hok Wai DPA Plan No. DPA/NE-MTL/2 is available for public inspection during office hours at the Secretariat of the Town Planning Board; the Planning Enquiry Counters in North Point and Sha Tin; the Sha Tin, Tai Po and North District Planning Office; the North District Office; the Sheung Shui District Rural Committee; and the Ta Kwu Ling District Rural Committee.

     Copies of the approved DPA Plan are available for sale at the Map Publications Centres in North Point and Yau Ma Tei. The electronic version of the plan can be viewed at the Board's website (www.info.gov.hk/tpb).

Ends/Friday, March 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:06