New report required from Lisboa Gardens developer

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Issue 1320, Page 2
Word count: 441
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The final environmental assessment report regarding the construction of six high-rise residential buildings at the Small Taipa Hill may not necessarily be released to the public, the head of the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) said yesterday.

“Ka Fai” Building Investment Ltd has applied to the government to revise its Lisboa Gardens development project, in an attempt to build additional six 29 or 36 storey high towers on two blocks of land at the hill instead of a four-star hotel and villas.

DSPA director Cheong Sio Kei told reporters on the sidelines of an event that the bureau had requested the developer to provide further information in the environmental assessment report in March, including a comparison of the environmental situation on the hill before and after construction begins, as well as to expand the assessment area by 500 metres.

Cheong stressed that the report is conducted by an independent third party commissioned by the developer.

The bureau has also asked the developer to provide supplementary opinions in order to satisfy the requirements, he added.

There is no deadline for the submission of the updated report, but the DSPA chief pointed out that without it, the government cannot proceed with the approval of the construction project.

Asked whether the final report will be released to the public, he said consideration will have to be given first by “analysis from the public works department” and gathering public views.

“We haven’t yet received further information required from the developer and therefore at this moment we are unable to comment on what we should do next,” he told reporters.

Members of the public have until this Thursday to submit opinions and comments about the developer’s application to the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau.

In addition, Cheong said the public consultation on the draft of a formal environmental assessment system is expected to be launched in the second half of this year.

Currently the environmental assessment is only “in a form of a guideline”, he said, so views will be sought from the public and Environmental Advisory Committee regarding how the system should be implemented.

Transparency demanded

Meanwhile, lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong in his written interpellation criticised the government for not disclosing the developer’s environmental assessment report and the related opinions from the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) to the public, before the 15-day “opinion collection period” ends this Thursday.

The six high-rise building construction, according to Ng, is not only about “destructing the hill”, but also involves the issue of idle land.

He has called on the government to explain the project to the Legislative Assembly in order to “safeguard its governance and integrity”.

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