User:Kayau/Hundreds protest against new Hong Kong residence

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Hundreds of protesters participated in a 'lie-down' demonstration followed by a protest march in Mei Foo, Hong Kong to protest against the construction of a 20-storey residence near Mei Foo Sun Chuen, a 99-block housing estate which used to be the largest in the world. The Police claimed around 300 participated in the lie-down protest and 500 in the march; the organisers claimed 1000 took part in the entire event.

Developer Cheung Tat earlier purchased the site of the new block, which used to house a petroleum storage tank, from New World Development, plus surrounding roads from Broadway-Nassau Investments, the estate's management company. Construction has been delayed since residents blocked it early last month.

Protestors claim that the new block of flats will obscure the view and obstruct the air flow in the estate, as the designated site will block the estate's wind corridor. They also plan to request a judicial review on the matter as they claim the developer have used incorrect plot ratio data. They also want the government to enter a land swap with Cheung Tat to force the developer to abandon their plans.

The government has refused to do so because the project satisfies legal requirements and land swaps are reserved for 'very special circumstances'. Yip Siu-chau, convener of the concern group, stated that he was not surprised as a land swap would mean the government acknowledging the mistake.

Politicians from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Civic Party, Democratic Party and League of Social Democrats (LSD) have all supported the residents. James To of the Democratic Party and Leung Kwok-hung of the LSD have both attended the protests.

Cheung Tat condemned the protests on the grounds that they delayed the construction, violating their legal rights. They stated that they have already responded to the resident's request by reducing the floor area of the building by half.

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