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Draft Po Toi Islands Outline Zoning Plan approved
     The Chief Executive in Council has approved the draft Po Toi Islands Outline Zoning Plan (OZP).
     "The approved OZP provides a statutory land use planning framework to guide the development and redevelopment within the Po Toi Islands area," a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (September 9).
     The planning scheme area covers about 549.67 hectares. They are the southern-most outlying islands in Hong Kong and mainly include Po Toi, Mat Chau, Beaufort Island, Sung Kong and Waglan Island.
     The general planning intention is to conserve areas of high ecological significance and to protect the unique landscape, rural and natural characters of the area. Due consideration will be given to the conservation of ecologically and environmentally sensitive areas, such as Po Toi, when development in or near the area is proposed. It is also intended to provide appropriate planning control for, inter alia, the development of education and recreational facilities, as well as the improvement and upgrading of existing temporary structures through redevelopment of existing temporary structures into permanent buildings.
     About 0.17 hectares of land are zoned "Residential (Group D)" for improvement and upgrading of existing temporary structures within the rural areas through redevelopment of existing temporary structures into permanent buildings. This zone mainly covers the private land to the southwest of Po Toi Village outside the village environs, which is mainly occupied by one- to two-storey temporary structures built years ago.
     About 0.74 hectares of land are zoned "Village Type Development" to designate both existing recognised villages and areas of land considered suitable for village expansion.
     About 0.24 hectares of land are zoned "Government, Institution or Community" which is intended primarily for the provision of government, institution and community facilities serving the needs of the local residents and/or a wider district, region or the territory. This zone covers the Tin Hau Temple and the abandoned village school, i.e. Po Toi School at Po Toi, as well as the lighthouse and other government uses/facilities at southern Waglan Island.
     About 0.06 hectares of land in front of the Tin Hau Temple are zoned "Open Space", which is used as a stage for Chinese opera performances during festive celebrations.
     About 0.07 hectares of land are zoned "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Pier" to reflect the existing use of three piers in the Area, i.e. two at Tai Wan of Po Toi and one at Waglan Island.
     To define the limits of development areas by natural features and to preserve the existing natural landscape as well as to provide passive recreational outlets, about 150.45 hectares of land are zoned "Green Belt". This zone mainly covers the vegetated hill slopes at Tai Wan and Wan Tsai of Po Toi, as well as those at Mat Chau, Beaufort Island and Sung Kong. There are two traditional burial grounds in the southern part of Po Toi within this zone.
     About 30.49 hectares of land are zoned "Coastal Protection Area" to conserve, protect and retain the natural coastlines and the sensitive coastal natural environment, including attractive geological features, physical landforms and areas of high landscape, scenic or ecological value, with a minimum of built development. This zone also covers areas which serve as natural protection areas sheltering nearby developments against the effects of coastal erosion.
     To protect and retain the existing natural landscape, ecological and topographical features of the Area for conservation, educational and research purposes and to separate sensitive natural environment from the adverse effects of development, about 367.45 hectares of land are zoned "Conservation Area". This zone covers most of Po Toi, which has scientific significance and high conservation value. Owing to its geographical position, Po Toi is considered as a crucial re-fuelling stop for migratory birds. It also covers the vegetated hill slopes and the rocky areas at Waglan Island, which is known to be a breeding site for terns.
     The approved Po Toi Islands OZP No. S/I-PTI/2 is now available for public inspection during office hours at the Secretariat of the Board, the Planning Enquiry Counters of the Planning Department in North Point and Sha Tin, the Sai Kung and Islands District Planning Office, the Islands District Office and the Lamma Island (South) Rural Committee.
       Copies of the approved OZP 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, September 9, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:01
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