Man convicted and fined for occupying illegal tin-sheet structures in Lut Chau SSSI, Yuen Long
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - A man who occupied illegally built tin-sheet structures on government land at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Lut Chau, Yuen Long, was fined $20,000 by Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (April 20) for contravening the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO).
An Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesman said that the department received a report in May 2016 from a member of the public about illegal structures found at the fishpond and wetland area in Lut Chau, Yuen Long. Upon investigation, EPD staff found that tin-sheet structures were built on government land zoned as an SSSI which was an offence under the EIAO. After completion of evidence gathering, the EPD subsequently initiated prosecution against the occupier involved, who later removed the tin-sheet structures.
The spokesman said that the area in Lut Chau was zoned as an SSSI under the Mai Po and Fairview Park Outline Zoning Plan to preserve the ecological value and functions of the existing fishponds in the area.
All projects, including building works inside an SSSI should comply with the statutory requirements of the EIAO and be issued with an Environmental Permit before they can proceed, if they do not fall into the exceptions listed in Item Q1 of Part I, Schedule 2 of the EIAO. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and six months' imprisonment.
Published on: 2017-04-20
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