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WWF opposes to the rezoning application at Ha Pak Nai

Ha Pak Nai in Yuen Long has been under pressure for development over the past few years. A developer has attempted to apply for a rezoning application under the Town Planning Ordinance associated with a residential development in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The 2007 and 2008 proposals involved low density villas, club house and golf course. Because of the objections from the public and green groups, the developer had withdrawn both applications.

In August 2010, the same developer submitted a rezoning application to Town Planning Board (TPB) again. The major elements and status of the abovementioned three applications are compared and listed in the following table:

Rezoning Proposal (June 2007) (Application no. Y/YL-PN/1) Rezoning Proposal (September 2008) (Application no. Y/YL-PN/2) Rezoning Proposal (August 2010) (Application no. Y/YL-PN/3)
Residential Development Residential Development Residential Development
Environmentally Friendly Golf Course Ecological Resort Preservation Area (including Butterfly World)
Club House Insect World Public Facility Area (including Eco-Camp)
Rural Recreation Golf Academy  
  Rural Recreation  
Total 75ha Total 45ha Total 31ha
Status: Withdrawn Status: Withdrawn Status: Withdrawn

Relevant web links for details of:

WWF's Position:
WWF opposes to the current 2010 proposal to rezone 31ha of land in Ha Pak Nai from the zoning of "Agriculture" ("AGR") to the zoning of "Other Specific Uses" Annotated "Rural Use" ("OU(RU)" under the approved Sheung Pak Nai and Ha Pak Nai Outline Zoning Plan. Our major concerns are as follows:

  • The general planning intention of the area according to the approved Sheung Pak Nai and Ha Pak Nai Outline Zoning Plan No. S/YL-PN/9 is to sustain agriculture and rural activities to avoid unwanted urban growth, to enhance the quality of the environment, and to preserve the scenic and landscape value of the unspoiled natural features. WWF considers the current proposed rezoning is incompatible with such planning intention.
  • The area is in close proximity to the important breeding and nesting site for egrets and the foraging ground for Black-faced spoonbills, an endangered species of global conservation concern. Vegetation clearance and site formation during the construction phase as well as the increasing level of human activities during the operation phase will induce disturbance to the sensitive wildlife, causing potential ecological impacts.
  • The application site is adjacent to the "Coastal Protection Area" zone. The area is a recognised important site for species of conservation importance, including horseshoe crabs and seagrass beds, which are vulnerable to the threats from direct human disturbance and pollution associated with the proposed development.

Submission to Town Planning Board by WWF in 2007
Submission to Town Planning Board by WWF in 2008
Submission to Town Planning Board by WWF in 2010

Ecological Information:

  1. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) Newsletter Issue No. 14 – Reviews of Egretries in Hong Kong:
  2. Anon, 2009. Summer 2009 Report: Egretry Counts in Hong Kong with particular reference to the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site. Report by Hong Kong Bird Watching Society to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

Seagrass beds:

Horseshoe crab:

Relevant Ordinance and Guidelines:

  1. Town Planning Ordinance (Cap. 131)
  2. Town Planning Board Guidelines for Designation of "Other Specific Uses" Annotated "Rural Use" ("OU(RU)") Zone and Application for Development within "OU(RU)" Zone (TPB PG-NO.38)
  3. Planning Department – Review of Rural Land Uses in Northern New Territories
  4. Hong Kong Planning Standard and Guidelines (HKPSG) – Chapter 10: Conservation

Ha Pak Nai Archaeological Site

What you can do?
Make your own submission!
Visit the Town Planning Board website and make your submission directly.

The references here may provide you some useful information

Check this Facebook group

Important Note:
Ha Pak Nai is an ecologically important and sensitive area providing habitats for wildlife such as horseshoe crabs, seagrasses, mangroves, egrets and globally endangered black-faced spoonbills. These species are all highly susceptible to human disturbance. In order to protect and conserve these vulnerable wildlife, Please make sure you and your friends are not the people causing the trouble. We will not encourage you to visit until the impacts from visitors are properly managed. Remember, seagrass will not survive if you step on them and egrets will be disturbed if you make too much noise.

Location Map for Ha Pak Nai

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