Lantau residents yesterday gave a mixed reaction to the government’s vision to transform the island into separate economic and leisure hubs in the first public consultation forum over the development plan.

About 400 people attended the event at a secondary school in Tung Chung in north Lantau.

“I support the government’s plan to develop Lantau Island,” said island resident Mr Tse in the forum. But he added that the government should first improve the area’s transport network.

“Tai O, Mui Wo and Pui O are now only connected by Tung Chung Road. If the development of Lantau Island starts, the road will certainly be overloaded.”

Another Lantau resident, Ms Cheung, opposed the suggestion to extend the route of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to the fishing village of Tai O as it would cross over ancestral hillside graves.

Development Bureau undersecretary Eric Ma Siu-cheung, told the forum development of the island was related to the long-term economic development of Hong Kong, while taking into account the need for conservation.

The government-appointed Lantau Development Advisory Committee submitted its first work report to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying last month.

It proposed splitting the island into four development areas.

They comprise a northern corridor for economic and housing development; an area for leisure and tourism off Sunny Bay and expansion of Disneyland; a new core business district in the east to be created by the reclaiming land, and the development of 14 recreation and tourism areas including Sunny Bay, Mui Wo, Tai O and the Tung Chung valley.

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