By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The opinions gathered from local people and associations concerning the construction of six high-rise towers on the Small Taipa Hill should be summarised and released to the public next week, said an official of the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) yesterday.
Of the 880 valid opinions collected between late May and mid-June, head of the urban planning department of the DSSOPT, Lao Iong, disclosed that about 67 percent or 587 were in favour of the second phase of development of Lisboa Gardens, while only 242 were against the project.
In addition, he said 40 had expressed their thoughts on the construction, but did not state clearly whether they supported and opposed it, and another 11 were comments that had no direct relation to the theme of the consultation.
Nevertheless, Lao stressed that the higher number of supporters did not necessarily mean the Lisboa Gardens developer, ‘Kai Fai’ Building Investment, will be permitted to change the development plan.
“The most important thing is to analyse the rationale behind the supporting and opposing views,” he told reporters.
In late May the developer presented the proposal to the Advisory Group for Land Development in the hope to obtain approval from the government to build six additional residential towers, standing 154 metres or 139 metres above sea level, in place of the original construction plan for villas and a four-star hotel.
Meanwhile, Lao said the public views mainly focus on “ecological protection, environmental conservation, protection of public interest, city planning, meeting the market demand and damage to landscape”.
The official also said the DSSOPT is considering whether or not to release the views of relative government departments at a later time.
However, he added that when the government will make their final decision could not be predicted.
Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io told reporters recently that the Lisboa Gardens construction was “not an emergency project” and therefore the government would review the application based on “general procedures”.
On the other hand, the New Macau Association met Lao at the DSSOPT premises yesterday, as the association held doubt about the destination of the 1,751 public opinions submitted, if the bureau claimed that they only have 880 opinions in hand.
Lao responded that the bureau counted the batch of 1,751 opinions as “one opinion”, but reiterated that the government “respects each person’s view and has analysed them one by one”.
He said a majority of 1,684 opinions called for a halt to the project as well as calling for the government to recall the land from the developer.
Yet, lawmaker Chan Wai Chi said he “absolutely cannot accept” how the bureau has treated the public opinions, criticising the method as “unscientific, unreasonable and unfair”.