反對「新界東北新發展區」 不要「被融合」 踢走發展主義； 還地於農 城鄉共生 永續香港
SAY NO to the “North East New Territories Development Plan”
· Objection to Integration and Property-oriented Development
· Farmland to the Farmers · Urban-Rural Co-existence for a Sustainable Hong Kong
JOINT PETITION LETTER
The government intends to implement the “North East New Territories New Development Areas” on the premise of “regional integration” and “population growth”, and is conducting the last stage of public consultation until 31 August 2012. If the plan is implemented, lots of farmland and non-indigenous villages in North East New Territories (including Fanling North, Kwu Tung North and Ping Che / Ta Kwu Ling) will be destroyed. Nearly 80% of the land to be resumed by the government will be sold to developers for private property developments, which will widen the wealth gap rather than solve housing problems in Hong Kong.
We, a group of Hong Kong citizens concerned about autonomic and sustainable development, hereby sign in objection to this development plan. We urge the government to discard obsolete town planning approach, and replace it by sustainable planning for the co-existence between rural and urban areas and local agriculture policy. The reasons are as follows:
1. Grounds for more new towns questionable
The government promotes this plan by purporting that Hong Kong has “a large population with limited land”, yet it has never announced a comprehensive population policy or statistics on land and housing supply and demand. So the public could not carry out meaningful discussion or make informed judgement. In fact, local population growth has already slowed down, and our housing problem is one of supply and demand mismatch rather than simply a lack of supply. While many private property units are left vacant and become merely an investment tool, should we continue to adhere to this obsolete development approach? Is it justifiable to sacrifice so much farmland for another new town?
2. Regional integration not to be done by backroom deals or for real estate
We do not object to integration, as long as policies are based on the consensus and interests of local Hong Kong people. Now our planning process is defective in that: (1) decisions are made by the Hong Kong and Mainland governments behind closed doors without consulting Hong Kong people; (2) it is dominated by unaffordable property developments destined to widen the wealth gap, and by costly infrastructure aimed to accelerate integration regardless of public interests and environmental costs.
3. Support local agriculture for a sustainable urban and rural co-existence
North East New Territories consist of important agricultural zones in Hong Kong and are home to dozens of non-indigenous villages. As the price and safety of food supply from the Mainland became a concern over the past decade, Hong Kong people gradually realise the importance of local agriculture. By having local farming, food waste can be turned into compost and consumed in farms, thus reducing solid waste for the city. The farmers’ squatter dwellings should also be respected as an alternative way of life that is closely related to the land. These agricultural zones are valuable resources that make a sustainable future possible.
We believe that a policy in favour of local agriculture and a sustainable planning for urban and rural co-existence are more desirable and beneficial for North East New Territories and Hong Kong as a whole.
17 July 2012
Alliance of Fanling North Farming Villages and Residents
Produce Green Foundation
Hong Kong Critical Geography Group
The Conservancy Association
CUHK Agricultural Development Group (CUAGRO)
Association for Tai O Environment and Development
The Hong Kong Federation of Students
CTU Food Recycling Scheme
Hong Kong Autonomy Movement (HKAM)
Industrial Relations Institue