Democrats pressing for urban planning act

Monday, March 1, 2010
Issue 951, Page 3
Word count: 562
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The New Macau Association handed in a proposal for an urban planning framework act to the government headquarters yesterday pressing for the legislation with no more delay.

Ng Kuok Cheong, Au Kam San and Chan Wai Chi, who are also directly elected lawmakers, according to Article 75 of the Macau Basic Law, are necessary to obtain a written consent from the Chief Executive in order to present the bill to the Legislative Assembly for discussions.

“An framework act on urban planning is even more prominent than before as Macau is going to have an overall transportation plan, which must have to be based on urban planning,” Ng told reporters.

In 2006, Ng and Au had once submitted a similar bill to the then Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah, but Ng said no feedback was ever given.

“Edmund Ho neither said yes or no during the following four years until he left the office late last year,” Ng said.

“We hope the Chief Executive [Fernando Chui Sai On] can consider our proposal and give us a written consent for it to proceed,” he added.

The pro-democracy lawmaker also said that in the past, even if the government did not sign a permit, it would promise to work on that issue later on.

“Edmund Ho didn’t agree with the anti-tobacco bill that we drafted, the government did eventually introduce the legislation but it happened four years later,” Ng said.

“If Chui doesn’t agree with our bill, I hope the government won’t delay working on it for too long… so that Macau can establish an urban planning framework as soon as possible,” he added.

According to the proposal, the overall urban planning should serve as a foundation for transportation planning and land reclamation development. It said that Macau’s city development, land use and public housing supply need a long-term plan, and also should not “connive transfer of benefits and thus sacrifice the public interest”.

While mainland China has the Urban and Rural Planning Act and Hong Kong has the Town Planning Ordinance, the New Macau Association deems that the Macau government needs to enact a framework act on town planning as soon as possible, in order to go with the pace of the motherland and neighbouring cities.

The bill looks at town planning in the next 20 years in Macau and suggests a comprehensive review every five years.

It proposes the formation of a committee by professionals and resident representatives from each district, and to give it power to outline and deliberate urban development plans.

To preserve the living environment of residential areas, the bill says the use of land and architectures is prohibited from causing impact to the “calmness, safety and hygiene” there.

As for public facilities, their locations and sizes should be determined according to the population, traffic situation and future development trends.

The construction of parks, sports venues, green areas, squares and children’s playgrounds has to take into consideration “the population density and the natural environment, and the land areas cannot be below a certain proportion”.

In addition, the New Macau Association proposes that slaughterhouses, garbage handling plants, mortuaries, crematoriums, cemeteries, sewage treatment plants and bunkers cannot impair urban development and the safety of neighbouring residents.

The establishment or changes of every community facility will require a consultation procedure including public exhibitions, explanatory sessions as well as collection of public opinions.

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