Green light for Golik concrete plant
Construction materials producer Golik Holdings (1118) will be resurrecting a concrete batching plant in the northern New Territories with an eye to meeting demand from the large-scale developments planned there by the government.
The Town Planning Board’s Rural and New Town Planning Committee gave the green light to Golik’s section 16 planning application last Friday for a concrete batching plant on a temporary basis for a period of three years.
The plant will be set up on a site near Tai Po Tin in Ping Che in the northern New Territories.
According to Golik’s planning statement, the proposed plant is to enable the relocation and upgrading of an existing plant nearby which is in the way of a Drainage Services Department project.
The new plant, comprising six cement silos, conveyor belts, water tanks and supporting plant structures, will have a maximum daily production capacity of 800 cubic metres.
To reduce the visual impact of the plant in the rural area, Golik will fix cladding painted olive green around the plant to “match with the surrounding environment”.
“The site represents one of the very few locations available for such use within reasonable distance of committed and planned construction sites in the Northern New Territories and there is a pressing need to implement the replacement plant to meet the needs of the construction industry,” the planning statement said.
The Government is currently drawing up the final plans for the North East New Territories New Development Areas in Ping Che and Ta Kwu Ling.
It is also planning on developing the Lok Ma Chau Loop in co-operation with the Shenzhen Municipal Government.
A major government public works project currently in progress in the area is the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point.
According to the Concrete Producers’ Association, the current concrete demand in Hong Kong is about 5.4 to 6.5 million cubic metres per annum.
“Unfortunately the number of concrete batching plants has not kept pace with demand and, as a result, Hong Kong is currently experiencing a shortage of ready mix concrete production capacity,” the planning statement said.
It added supply would be further reduced as Golik’s plant at Siu Ho Wan on Lantau Island will close soon to make way for the construction of Organic Waste Treatment Facility by the Environmental Protection Department.
Equipment at the Siu Ho Wan plant will be reused at the new plant.
Currently there are about 13 concrete batching plants in Hong Kong.
According to a Land Registry search, Golik bought various lots of land on which the application site is partly located for HK$5.43 million in 1990.
In 2007 it sold the lots to another company for HK$29 million.
However it holds a long-term lease on the land with more than 10 years still to run, according to the planning statement.
The proposed plant is not without its critics though.
During public consultation earlier, one expatriate commentator said the temporary status of the plant was “totally misleading” as once initial approval was granted, it would be merely a rubber stamp procedure to extend the term of planning permission.
Indigenous villagers wrote to complain about the adverse effect from the plant on the “fung shui” of Tai Po Tin village.
However Planning Department in its consideration paper drafted for members of the Town Planning Board said fung shui matters were outside the planning consideration of the board.