The confrontation between Long Keng residents and developers with 1.5 billion dollar signs in their eyes has worsened. Threats have been made and cars vandalised, said a village representative, who does not want to be named.
Five houses have been built or are under construction at the site off Sai Sha Road between Long Keng and O Tau that used to be fauna-rich forest and wetlands. One villager snaffled the plans the developers were showing to potential investors. They revealed total sales are proposed of HK$1.5 billion with profits of $900 million, implying the developers want to build about 60 houses.
A Long Keng representative spoke to people who have applied to raise a two sq km plot of land 1.5 metres “for organic farming”. He was told they could not guarantee housing would not be built and warned “you will regret it if you object”.
A road has been constructed illegally from New Long Keng village to the main development site. It runs right in front of Long Keng residents’ houses and is now laid with concrete for heavy lorries.
The Planning Department has stuck reinstatement notices on the “organic farming” land and on the illegal road. These notices have been ripped down. “Every single family living in Long Keng is a member of the Long Keng Concern Group. We are working together as a community” to stop the $1.5 billion development, which if carried out over time will wreck the entire Long Keng – O Tau valley. Cars have been vandalised twice with a nail hammered into a tyre and a windscreen smashed. Another village representative has been separately threatened.
The developers have spotted the Long Keng groups’ Facebook page and messages from them and their supporters appear. One commentator says old people need a road and organic farming will improve the area, while another is belligerent abusing the villagers and saying the developers have the right to do what they want.
One Long Keng family claim some of the land over which the illegal road passes belongs to them, and are suing for compensation and land recovery.