Stop the Rot

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Stop the rot of small houses in country parks


In an article published in the South China Morning Post today as “Stop the rot” we call on the Country Parks authority – the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation – to live up to its statutory duty and protect Hong Kong's green treasure from chaotic village house development.

在南華早報刊登的 “Stop the rot” 一文(中文譯本)之中我們要求郊野公園管理局, 包括漁農自然護理署署長,履行他們的法定職責,保護香港的綠色寶藏不受具破壞性的村屋發展掠奪。

In the meantime, Designing Hong Kong has commenced a campaign to call for abolishing the Small House Policy. Complete the form using the link above.



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Abolish the Small House Policy

Mr. Leung Chun Ying
Office of the Chief Executive
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
People's Republic of China
Tamar, Hong Kong

E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Mr. Leung, 

The Small House Policy (SHP) was introduced by the former Hong Kong Government in 1972 and has NO EXPIRY DATE. Its original objective was to improve the prevailing low standard of living in the rural areas of the New Territories (NT). It is an ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY designed to simplify the basic right of any indigenous MALE NT villager (wherever born) reaching the age of 18 to build a house FOR HIMSELF TO OCCUPY in his ancestral village. The policy is out of control and is now the cause of widespread abuse and illegality.

The Government has stated that no more government land will be provided for NT small houses and when the unused village land runs out, that will be that. However, there is now such unprecedented pressure by villagers and developers (to whom many of the former have already surreptitiously sold their land) that the villages are crammed with wall to wall housing without planned access roads, sewage, drainage or public amenities.

More importantly, there are schemes afoot to fill the village enclaves inside HK's Country Parks with large, incompatible developments with no regard for the environment or the interests of the general public for whom the parks are an extremely popular amenity. Moreover the construction of these houses (hardly any of which will be occupied by the so called village applicants, as many are born and resident overseas) will cause massive environmental damage and ruin the enjoyment of Country Parks by genuine residents and visitors alike.

It is estimated that the Government’s failure to reform the policy could lead over time to more than 10,000 additional small houses being built in Country Park enclaves over the next 10 or so years. Small houses are the most environmentally damaging form of development in Hong Kong because the reality is that they are virtually unregulated. Construction (including the building of illegal or "temporary" roads) causes both habitat loss for wildlife and excessive runoff into streams and the sea which is very damaging. 

The same is true of the permanent infrastructure (e.g. road access and parking) required to service new houses, again virtually unregulated and haphazard. Sewage disposal (normally involving septic tanks) is virtually unregulated; grey water drainage generally goes into the nearest watercourse or the sea and worse (in the case of Hoi Ha) into the waters of a Marine Park.

During his election campaign at a Hong Kong University forum on 9 December 2012, the current Chief Executive of the HK SAR, C.Y. Leung, said "something will have to be done about the Small House Policy". Unfortunately, nothing has been done.

We, the undersigned, hereby petition the HKSAR Chief Executive, C.Y Leung to:

1) Abolish the divisive, discriminatory, outdated and unsustainable Small House Policy without any further delay
or, at the very least: 

2) Amend the SHP without undue delay so that the SHP no longer applies within Country Park boundaries

Don't forget to include your name, the date, and any other comments you may have.

Incinerator Demonstration


Living Islands Movement

Dear Members and Friends
Further to our recent e-mail, we have now concluded that the best way to continue the fight against the incinerator is to organize a large demonstration outside LegCo timed to coincide with the Finance Committee’s meeting on the Incinerator. 
While the date for the meeting has not been announced it will probably be on Fri 27 June though the vote may not happen until Fri 4 July or even Fri 11 July.  The Finance Committee meetings start at 3pm on Fridays.
So mark in your diary the afternoon of Friday 27 June to join the demonstration outside LegCo.
In addition to coming along to the demonstration you can continue to write to the media highlighting the many reasons why the proposed incinerator is such a bad idea.  
We are also preparing for a mass of emails to be sent to Legislators a few days before the vote.  Over the next few days we will come up with some further suggestions on each of these ideas.  Of course we are happy to hear your ideas as well.
The LIM Committee


'Living fossil' at risk from waste water in country park enclave: scientists

Residents say stream abundant in wildlife is threatened by village development nearby in latest row over country park enclaves

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 3:10am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 7:43am

Ernest Kao This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Waste water from a building site in a Sai Kung country park enclave is polluting a stream rich with wildlife including creatures known as "living fossils", residents and scientists believe.

Environment officials carried out inspections at Tai Tan village, which straddles both Sai Kung east and west country parks, after residents last week reported seeing cleaners sweeping waste water into the freshwater stream.

The officials vowed to keep close tabs on the area after the residents traced sludge in the stream uphill to a muddy ditch at the construction site, where 20 village houses are being built on one side of a single-track road adjacent to the stream.

The area is part of one of 54 enclaves which the government is drawing up plans to protect, either through zoning or by folding them into country park: a process that is proving controversial amid clashes between conservationists and landowners, who feel their rights are in jeopardy.

Gist of decisions on Draft Outline Zoning Plans for Hoi Ha, Pak Lap and So Lo Pun

Gist of the decision by Town Planning Board regarding the Draft Outline Zoning Plans for Hoi Ha, Pak Lap and So Lo Pun. Heung Yee Kuk's demand for more houses: Not upheld. Public demand for conservation:.. Partially upheld. Now we need to wait for the full minutes to find out which PART of our proposals has been accepted.


Support the establishment of large scale waste sorting facilities and the better use of the land at our landfills


Living Islands Movement

Dear Members and Friends

Support the establishment of large scale waste sorting facilities and the better use of the land at our landfills

Since many of you made submissions to the Town Planning Board back in December the Integrated Waste Management Action Group (IWMAG) has been reviewing the 3,384 submissions and has prepared supplementary information to respond to points raised.  

The updated submission is now open for comments before Friday 23 May. Further details available via

More on the Air and Incinerators

(Via Email) Dynamco - May 13th 2014 7:22am
Au (Environmental Destruction Dept) must 1st tell us why we have no source separation of MSW laws or Govt collection of recyclables o/s housing estates (yet Govt wants to charge for even separated MSW), no Green Bin collection system for food +yard waste, why no Zero Waste policies, why other advanced countries are embracing plasma gasification technology after due diligence, why CIWEM worldwide policy recommends use of food waste disposers & the sewage network to handle food waste (poo pooed by AU but reconfirmed by CIWEM expert panel to suit here), why transit-trash cargo enroute China was being included in 'local' recycling sham figures, why the EU is closing landfills by 2020 to any recyclable item whereas here EDD wants to expand landfills
Au refers to an EDD organized trip to Europe including Denmark which now has a paradigm policy shift away from incineration to embrace recycling.
Removing 40% food waste from daily domestic MSW would leave dry recyclables 2 satisfy new recycling industries & employment, source separation laws w/associated Govt collection of ALL recyclables, Green Bin collection of food waste from NT villages & private estates to central garburation stations would reduce HKG’s daily waste stream to the extent that no incineration or landfill is necessary.
Au “will not cause adverse impact to human health” is a blatant lie contradicted by Peer reviewed online reports.
”99% PM2.5” will be caught = 30,000 kgs killer heavy metal/dioxin particulates into the air daily.

RTHK English News

Yuhang shelves incinerator plan


Authorities in the district of Yuhang, near Hangzhou, have promised to shelve controversial plans to build a large incinerator if it does not have popular support. This follows a violent protest in which 10 demonstrators and 29 police were injured.

The Xinhua news Agency said 30 vehicles were overturned as protesters set two police cars on fire on Saturday and blocked a highway in Yuhang.

One protester and a policeman have been reported seriously injured.

The Associated Press quoted a woman who lives near the proposed incinerator site as saying that thousands of people turned out for the protest, which followed government assurances that the project would not pose a health threat.

But the report said the protesters did not return on Sunday as police were heavily guarding the area.

NOT the Real EPD ?

From:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: NOT the Real EPD ? There are different ways of taking the piss in Hong Kong



Look here:


Link to the Powerpoints from Save our Country Parks Town Planning Board Meeting

WWF Enclaves Investigation Report

The Enclaves Investigation Report compiled by WWF-HK has been completed. This report details the importance of enclaves, their destruction fueled by development and what needs to be done to properly protect them. A featured article on this issue can be found in the link below where you can also download the full report and executive summary.


Hope this report will help our battle to save the enclaves, in particular Hoi Ha, So Lo Pun and Pak Lap in which their fate will be determined by Town Planning Board in the coming days. Please keep up the heat by raising this topic in your network and feel free to share the article and report.