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Draft Ping Chau Outline Zoning Plan gazetted
     The Town Planning Board today (March 24) announced the publication of the draft Ping Chau Outline Zoning Plan (OZP).

     The planning scheme area is located on Ping Chau Island (the Island), covering a total land area of about 28.91 hectares (i.e. around 25 per cent of the total land area of the Island) in Mirs Bay, the easternmost outlying island of Hong Kong. The Island was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in February 1979 for its spectacular rock formations and geological features. About 87 hectares of land (i.e. around 75 percent of the total land area of the Island) was subsequently included in Plover Cove (Extension) Country Park in June 1979, which also fell within the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark in 2011. The Island is surrounded by Tung Ping Chau Marine Park which was designated in 2001. The area is made up of three portions of land. The major portions at the eastern coast and the northern hilltop of the Island mainly comprise a number of recognised villages and government, institution or community (GIC) facilities surrounded by woodland and shrubland. At the seashore, sandy beach, rocky area/geological features, coastal plants and a public pier can be found. The western portion is a narrow strip of land made up of outcrops of sedimentary rock with prominent chert layers and different wave-cut platforms.

     A spokesman for the Board said that the general planning intention for the area is to conserve areas of high landscape, scenic and geological value which complement the overall naturalness and the landscape beauty of the surrounding Country Park. It is also intended to consolidate village development so as to avoid undesirable disturbances to the natural environment and overtaxing the limited infrastructure in the area.

     About 2.62 hectares of land is zoned "Village Type Development" to designate both the existing recognised villages and areas of land considered suitable for village expansion.

     About 1.01 hectares of land is zoned "Government, Institution or Community", primarily for the provision of GIC facilities serving the needs of the local residents and/or a wider district, region or the territory. The major existing GIC facilities include the Marine Department Vessel Traffic Services System East Ping Chau Radar Station; East Ping Chau Police Post; Ping Chau (East) Ex-military Training Camp; a helipad and two water tanks at Au Kung Shan; a water tank and a water pump in Chau Mei; Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Plover Cove (Extension) Country Park Ping Chau Management Centre; a water house and two water tanks (collectively known as Ping Chau Water Tank) and a new water tank with a solar pumping system under construction located to their east; the Electricity Generator House; Tam Tai Sin Temple; Tin Hau Temple, a water pump station and a public toilet in Sha Tau; and a pumping station in Chau Tau.

     About 0.05 hectares of land is zoned "Other Specified Use" ("OU") for specific development(s) and/or use(s). There is only one "OU" zone, which is annotated "Pier" and covers Tung Ping Chau Public Pier.

     To define the limits of urban and sub-urban development areas by natural features and to contain urban sprawl as well as to provide passive recreational outlets, about 17.22 hectares of land, comprising mainly woodland, shrubland, abandoned agricultural land and streams, is zoned "Green Belt" ("GB"). The "GB" zone also conserves the natural and landscape character of the area and provides a buffer between the village type developments and the Country Park.

     About 5.86 hectares of land is zoned "Coastal Protection Area" ("CPA") to conserve, protect and retain the natural coastlines and the sensitive coastal natural environment, including attractive geological features, physical landforms or areas of high landscape, scenic or ecological value, with a minimum of built development. The strip of land along the eastern coast of the area (except the public pier near Tai Tong), dominated by sandy beaches with coastal plant species and intersected by discontinuous sections of flat sedimentary rock stacks straddling the edge of the area, is zoned "CPA".

     About 2.15 hectares of land, covering the narrow strip of land on the western coast of the area, which is made up of the outcrops of sedimentary rock with prominent chert layers and different wave-cut platforms, is zoned "Site of Special Scientific Interest" to conserve and protect the features of special scientific interest such as rare or particular species of fauna and flora and their habitats, corals, woodlands, marshes or areas of geological, ecological or botanical/biological interest.
     The draft Ping Chau OZP No. S/NE-PC/1 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 Sha Tin, Tai Po and North District Planning Office; the Tai Po District Office; and the Sai Kung North Rural Committee.
     Any person may make written representations in respect of the draft plan to the Secretary of the Board on or before May 24. Representations made to the Board will be available for public inspection. 

     Copies of the draft 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 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:50
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