The Fu family has owned Nam Sang Wai for over half a century, beginning its ownership in early 1960s. The lack of clear boundaries between government-owned land and private land on the site as well as the lack of development may lead to the general impression that Nam Sang Wai is a public site.
If Nam Sang Wai is owned by the Fu family, why did Henderson Land initiate the development plans?
In the early 1990s, the Fu family transferred 50 percent of ownership to Henderson Land Development Company Limited; hence Henderson submitted a planning application for Nam Sang Wai and Lut Chau afterwards.
What is the Fu family's relationship with Nam Sang Wai, aside from being landowners?
Adrian Fu, who is now in charge of the Nam Sang Wai development planning work, grew up and spent some of his childhood years in Nam Sang Wai. His company planted and maintained many of the “Eucalyptus Tereticornis” trees that visitors see there today.
The Fu family has owned all or part of the site for a long time, so why is development only happening now?
Land development was approved by the government in the 1960s but was halted due to a series of practical challenges, including the existence of squatters that obstructed the construction of the main road to the area. The squatters left the area after more public housing was built and a planning application led by Henderson was submitted but rejected by the Town Planning Board in the early 1990s.
In 1994 the planning application was approved after appeal to the Town Planning Appeal Board. Following the approval the application did not satisfy the requirements of Town Planning Board , which further delayed development. In early 2011, KHI resumed the role of project manager.
What is the latest development plan for the site?
The project team is currently developing a sustainable plan for Nam Sang Wai and Lut Chau. The plan will be based on a careful balance of economic development, conservation and community development with public enjoyment that will be subject to scrutiny under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance and the Town Planning Ordinance.
The development plan will aim to enhance the overall ecological value of Nam Sang Wai and Lut Chau, and over two-thirds of the area will become a community wetland park and a nature reserve. The development plan also intends to further improve storm water drainage for Shan Pui River and Kam Tin Main Drainage Channel.
Only the southwestern portion of Nam Sang Wai will be used for low-density residential development. The majority of Nam Sang Wai will be turned into a community wetland park.
Lut Chau will be transformed into a nature reserve to enhance the ecological functions of Mai Po and the intertidal mudflat of Inner Deep Bay.
Two trust funds will be established to manage the future operations of the Nam Sang Wai community wetland park and the Lut Chau nature reserve respectively.
Won’t development ruin the natural beauty of the site?
The development plans are dedicated to the long-term conservation and enhancement of the site's value to nature, so as to provide stable habitats for wintering and local waterbirds. We are committed to the local community's continued access to an improved site to enjoy the wetland environment.
The majority of the fish ponds at Nam Sang Wai have been left idling since the 1990s and the ecological value of the area has been decreasing. Effort and resources are required to regenerate the wetland habitat as far as possible to encourage the wildlife that could thrive in this environment.
Active management of the site will require ongoing investment, as is the case with the Mai Po Nature Reserve. Without active management of the site there may be further degradation to the area, particularly through the continued drying out of disused fish ponds and the consequent encroachment of terrestrial vegetation.
What will be done to protect the wetland and wildlife?
The northern part of Nam Sang Wai will be turned into a community wetland park, making up the majority of the site. The original scheme with the golf course will be withdrawn. Lut Chau will be transformed into a nature reserve to enhance the ecological functions of Mai Po and the Inner Deep Bay. Two trust funds will be established to manage the future operations of the Nam Sang Wai community wetland park and the Lut Chau nature reserve respectively.
What will be done to ensure that plans for Nam Sang Wai and Lut Chau serve public interest?
As a part of the EIAO and TPO processes for the new Nam Sang Wai and Lut Chau proposal, there will be continuous and considerable scope for public participation.
The project team is currently engaging environmental, community and district groups to obtain their inputs before making a new submission to the Environmental Protection Department and the Town Planning Board.
Our intention is that community and environmental groups will lead the future management of the Nam Sang Wai community wetland park and Lut Chau nature reserve.
(This page will be updated on a regular basis to address public enquiries and opinions.)