Several environmental groups criticised the Planning Department for being a “toothless tiger” due to their lack of law enforcement against illegal dumping on private land in Tai Tong, Yuen Long.
Both the Conservancy Association and Land Justice League pointed to the case of private land, this time about 200,000 square feet in size and near Tai Tong, which has been used as an open storage site for construction material.
At least nine plots are owned by rural strongman Lau Wong-fat’s family. The Planning Department ordered seven plots be restored to their original condition, based on an aerial photo taken in the ’90s.
However, a year later, the site continues to be a dumping ground.
Conservancy Association’s Assistant Campaign Manager Roy Ng Hei-man told Young Post yesterday there appeared to be no standardised guidelines for the Planning Department when it came to unauthorised filling of private land. This also means landlords can do whatever they want, leaving the land deserted and unsafe for residents nearby.
Ng said it was ridiculous to try and return Tai Tong’s dumping ground to its original state in the 1990s since the environment and habitats in the area had vastly changed. “It used to be a wetland with a lotus pond. I don’t think landowners will be willing to pay to create a wetland. The only thing they could do now is to grow some trees and grass,” he said.
Ng suggested stricter and standardised enforcement actions are needed to curb the illegal use of private land.